Table 1

 Summary of published studies of low intensity laser therapy for cardiovascular disease

StudyDiseaseNumber of patientsOutcome
Diagnostic implication of changed red cell counts in low intensity laser irradiation of blood in elderly patients with coronary heart disease.25Coronary heart disease41 elderly patientsChange in peripheral erythrocyte count after intravenous laser radiation correlated with effectiveness of treatment.
Laser therapy in patients with hypertension and coronary insufficiency.26Hypertension with coronary insufficiency82 patients Randomly divided in to two groups: 57 received infrared (0.85 nm) laser radiation on the skin + traditional therapy.The study shows antianginal and antihypertensive effects with improved cardiac performance and myocardial contractility. This was accompanied by positive shifts in lipid metabolism, lipid peroxidant and antioxidant activity, haemocoagulation. and microcirculation.
25 controls who received infrared traditional therapy.
Intravenous use of low energy helium-neon laser irradiation in unstable angina.8Unstable angina pectoris90 patients 25—traditional therapy 65—traditional therapy + intravenous laser therapyAntianginal effect was shown by recorded number of anginal episodes and daily consumption of nitroglycerine tablets. The data confirm antianginal clinical effects of intravenous laser therapy.
Treatment of ischaemic heart disease with low level laser therapy.18Ischaemic heart disease with cardiac arrhythmias (n = 7) Hypertension with cardiac arrhythmias (n = 2) Hypertension (n = 2)11 patients (age 48–78) 5 patients were treated with laser monotherapy 6 patients were treated with a combination of laser therapy and antiarrhythmic drugs.Cardiac arrhythmias disappeared after laser therapy in 3 patients without antiarrhythmic drugs. The doses of nitrates and calcium antagonists were lowered by 50% and β blockers withdrawn completely (3 patients).
Laser therapy as a method of elimination of tolerance to nitrates and increase of their action.28Ischaemic heart disease Stable angina pectoris with hypertension64 patients 40–69 years old (43 men and 21 women) 27 patients had a history of myocardial infarction.Infrared laser therapy reduced tolerance to nitrates and increased their action in 80% of cases.
Lectin induded chemiluminescence of neutrophilic granulocyres in the peripheral blood of patients with myocardial ischemia before and after He-Ne laser blood irradiation.2Patients with stable angina pectoris Healthy donors35 patients ( 32 men and 3 women) 30 people (24 men and 6 women)Laser irradiation eliminated some less resistant neutrophils granulocytes. In the remaining cells the composition and reactivity of surface lectin receptors and their level of biologically active substances are likely to play a key part in the mechanism responsible for the therapeutic effect of He-Ne laser.
Intracardiac laser irradiation in the correction of left ventricular dysfunction in patients with progressive angina pectoris.12Progressive angina pectoris with cardiac failure73 patients 47 patients—intracardic He-Ne laser irradiation + traditional therapy 26 patients—traditional therapyThe beneficial effect of laser haemotherapy on intracardiac haemodynamics characteristics results from a stabilising effects on left ventricular regional contractility. It is associated with its anti-ischaemic effect.
Intravascular laser irradiation of blood in the multimodality treatment of patients with obliterating disease of the lower limb vessels.3Endarteritis obliterans atherosclerosis of the lower limb vessels80 patients Intravascular laser irradiation of the blood via a light guide in a peripheral vein.74% positive effect due to normalisation of coagulation properties, increased fibrinolytic potential, and normalisation of the lipoprotein ratio.
A comparison of different modalities of helium-neon laser therapy in patients with stable angina pectoris.29Stable angina pectoris.133 patients He-Ne laser was applied (1) on the skin to the liver projection area in combination with prolonged nitratesIn these patients there was a reaction of antiprotelytic enzymes to He-Ne laser therapy. The response varied with the type of laser therapy did not change the therapeutic results.
(2) on the skin to the cardiac region and Zaharyan’s-Head’s zones
(3) intravenous irradiation of blood.
Helium-neon laser used in drug resistant cardiac arrhythmias.22Chronic coronary heart disease with cardiac arrhythmias.85 patients with frequent and persistent arrhythmias, 28 were resistant to ethacizinum and allapininum (both drugs from class I)The efficacy of treatment was assessed in both groups. An anti-arrhythmic effect was more frequently seen when He-Ne laser was combined with one of the above drug than when it was given alone (67% and 36%, respectively)
Two groups:
(1) 68 patients received intravenous He-Ne laser therapy in combination with one of the above drugs;
(2) 17 patients received
He-Ne laser therapy alone.
Changes in the rheological activity of the blood due the He-Ne laser irradiation.13Atherosclerosis22 patients Studies were carried out in vivo and in vitro.No changes were seen in the rheological activity of blood in vitro, but they were sen in vivo. Blood viscosity declined with a fall in packed cell volume and reduced plasma viscosity.
Ambulatory application of combined laser therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia.5During a two year period 205 patients with NIDDM and 54 with IDDM were observed.29 formed a control group, treated with hypoglycaemic drugs.Lipid profiles, glycaemic control, and enzyme activity (ALT, AST) were checked before treatment and also at 8 days, 2 weeks, 1, 4, and 9 months after treatment.
89 patients (age 57–61 years old) with NIDDM constituted for this study60 patients (with a fasting glycose of no more than 9.0 mmol/l) were treated by laser therapy with antioxidant therapy AEVIT (combination vitamins A and E) 600 mg a day alone.Throughout the treatment plasma lipids in the control group were unchanged. However, the level of total cholesterol (TC) decreased and the level of triglycerides (TG) increased in the main group. These results were maintained up to 9 months.
Evaluation of laser radiation in red and infrared diapasons in the treatment of patients with unstable angina pectoris.15Unstable angina pectoris62 patients Randomly divided in to three groups: 21 used traditional therapy + intravenous laser irradiation in red diapason; 17 used traditional therapy + percutaneus laser irradiation in infrared diapason; 24 used traditional therapy + percutaneus + intravenous laserThis study claimed that combined treatment was the most effective method in unstable angina pectoris.
Low level laser therapy in patients with ischaemic heart disease and possible mechanism of hypolipidaemic action.14Ischaemic heart disease and angina pectoris.38 patients received percutaneous low level irradiation by infrared laser on projections of heart and vessels on a daily basis for 10 sessions.Lipid profiles were checked before treatment, on the fifth day of treatment, and 3 and 6 months after treatment. The level of total cholesterol was decreased by 20%–36% and remained constant during the 6 months.
Drugs and laser correction of microcirculatory disorder in myocardial ischaemia.450 Chinchilla rabbits.Drugs and lasers were daily used after 30 days inactivity for 7 days.There were anti-ischaemic effects of He-Ne and nitroglycerine through increased numbers and functional activity of capillaries.
Microcirculatory changes by verapamil were less significant than those causes by nitroglycerine.