Blood irradiation therapy

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Blood irradiation therapy is a procedure in which the blood is exposed to light (often laser light) for therapeutic reasons. Most research on blood irradiation therapy has been conducted in Russia and China[1] and it is rarely used outside of those countries. Its effectiveness and utility as a treatment has been questioned. Blood irradiation therapy can be administered through a catheter in a vein, through the blood vessels inside the nose or applied externally through the skin. It is not related to the practice of gamma irradiation of blood in transfusion medicine.

History[edit]

Intravenous laser blood irradiation was developed experimentally by the Russian researchers, Meshalkin and Sergievskiy, and introduced into clinical practice in 1981. Originally the method was applied in the treatment of cardiovascular abnormalities.[1][2]

Laser blood irradiation therapy was government-certified in Germany in 2005. In the following two years, this method was established in more than 300 centers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Australia.[3]

Types[edit]

Intravenous[edit]

An intravenous blood irradiation therapy in use.
Intravenous blood irradiation.

Intravenous or intravascular blood irradiation involves the in-vivo illumination of the blood by feeding low level laser light generated by a 1–3 mW helium–neon laser at a wavelength of 632.8 nm into a vascular channel, usually a vein in the forearm, under the assumption that any therapeutic effect will be circulated through the circulatory system.[4] The feasibility of intravascular laser irradiation for therapy of cardiocirculatory diseases was first presented in the American Heart Journal in 1982.[5] The technique was developed primarily in Asia (including Russia) and is not extensively used in other parts of the world. It is claimed to improve blood flow and its transport activities, but has not been subject to randomized controlled trials and is subject to skepticism. While there have been some calls to increase research on this topic, others have called it "useless".[1]

Ultraviolet blood irradiation may also be applied, though it involves drawing blood out through a vein and irradiating it outside of the body. Though promoted as a treatment for cancer, a 1952 review in the Journal of the American Medical Association[6] and another review by the American Cancer Society in 1970 concluded the treatment was ineffective.[7] Stephen Barrett, writing for Quackwatch, lists ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy as a questionable treatment.[8]

Intranasal[edit]

An intranasal blood irradiation device in use.
Portable intranasal blood irradiation device.

Intranasal blood irradiation (also commonly known as "intranasal light therapy") involves the non-invasive irradiation of the nasal cavity by inserting a small light diode (usually red color either of low intensity laser or normal red light) to illuminate the nasal cavity walls. The microvascular blood vessel network in the nasal cavity is receptive to external stimulation which is then circulated in the body's circulatory system.[citation needed]

Transcutaneous[edit]

Transcutaneous therapy applies laser light on unbroken skin in areas with large numbers of blood vessels (such as the forearm). Because of the skin acting as a barrier to the blood, the power of the laser is often boosted to compensate.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Moshkovska, T.; Mayberry, J. (2005). "It is time to test low level laser therapy in Great Britain". Postgraduate Medical Journal 81 (957): 436–441. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2004.027755. PMC 1743298. PMID 15998818.  edit
  2. ^ Meshalkin E N, Sergievskii V S, Primenenie pryamogo lazernogo izlucheniya v eksperimental'noi i klinicheskoi meditsine (Application of Direct Laser Radiation in Experimental and Clinical Medicine), (Novosibirsk: Nauka), 1981
  3. ^ Weber, M. F. M. (2007). "Intravenous laser blood irradiation: Introduction of a new therapy". German Journal of Acupuncture and related Techniques 50 (3): 12–23. doi:10.1078/0415-6412-00282. Retrieved 14 Aug 2010.  edit
  4. ^ Weber, MH; Fussgänger-May TW (2007). "Intravenous laser blood irradiation". German Journal of Acupuncture and related Techniques 50 (3): 12–23. doi:10.1078/0415-6412-00282. 
  5. ^ Lee, G.; Ikeda, R. M.; Dwyer, R. M.; Hussein, H.; Dietrich, P.; Mason, D. T. (1982). "Feasibility of intravascular laser irradiation for in vivo visualization and therapy of cardiocirculatory diseases". American heart journal 103 (6): 1076–1077. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(82)90576-2. PMID 7081024.  edit
  6. ^ Schwartz, SO; Kaplan SR; Stengle J; Stevenson FL (1952). "Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood in Man". JAMA 149 (13): 1180–3. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930300006002. PMID 14938136. 
  7. ^ "Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Intravenous Treatment". CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 20: 248. 1970. doi:10.3322/canjclin.20.4.248.  edit
  8. ^ Barrett, S (23 June 2010). "Index of Questionable Treatments". Quackwatch. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  9. ^ Harrington, James; Li, Junheng (1998). Biomedical optics and lasers: diagnostics and treatment: 16–18 September 1998, Beijing, China. Bellingham, Washington: SPIE. ISBN 0-8194-3009-9.