Liver Disease

Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Nov;31(8):1717-1726. Epub 2016 Aug 3.

Low-light-level therapy as a treatment for minimal hepatic encephalopathy: behavioural and brain assessment.

Arias N1,2, Méndez M3,4, Arias JL3,4.

Author information

  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EB, UK.
  • 2INEUROPA, Instituto de Neurociencias del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.
  • 3Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Departamento de Psicología, Universidad de Oviedo, Plaza Feijoo s/n, 33003, Oviedo, Spain.
  • 4INEUROPA, Instituto de Neurociencias del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.


Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) has been shown to affect daily functioning, quality of life, driving and overall mortality. However, little is known about treating or diagnosing early impairments involved in MHE. We studied one of its precipitating factors, portal hypertension. The purpose was to evaluate an enhancement in neuronal metabolism through low-light-level therapy (LLLT) and whether this therapy has effects on behavioural task acquisition. Rats were trained to perform a stimulus-response task using the Morris water maze. Three groups of animals were used: a SHAM (sham-operated) group (n?=?7), a portal hypertension (PH) group (n?=?7) and a PH + LLLT group (n?=?7). The triple portal vein ligation method was used to create an animal model of the early developmental phase of HE, and then the animals were exposed to 670?+?10 nm LED light at a dose of 9 J/cm2 once a day for 7 days. The metabolic activity of the brains was studied with cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry. There were differences in behavioural performance, with an improvement in the PH + LLLT group. Energetic brain metabolism revealed significant differences between the groups in all the brain structures analysed, except the anterodorsal thalamus. At the same time, in different brain networks, the PH group showed a more complicated relationship among the structures, while the SHAM and PH + LLLT groups had similar patterns. In this study, we provide the first preliminary insights into the validity of LLLT as a possible intervention to improve memory under minimal hepatic encephalopathy conditions.

Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult.  2010 Nov-Dec;(6):24-5.

The application of pulsed infrared laser radiation with autoresonant amplification for the treatment of patients with acute viral hepatitis B.

[Article in Russian]

Bagaliev AA.


A group of 59 patients presenting with acute viral hepatitis B was available for examination. A single course of pulsed infrared laser irradiation with autoresonant amplification resulted in the improvement of clinical conditions of the patients and normalization of ALAT activity, total and direct bilirubin levels.

Klin Med (Mosk). 2009;87(1):49-52.

Effect of low-intensity laser radiation on the function of vascular endothelium in patients with chronic viral hepatitis

[Article in Russian]

Burduli NM, Krifaridi AS.

The aim of the study was to measure plasma levels of stable metabolites of nitric oxide, nitrates, and nitrites (NOx) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis and evaluate the possibility of their correction by low-power laser irradiation. NO metabolites (total nitrites and nitrates) were measured colorimetrically from the development of colour in the reaction of nitrite with sulfanilamide diazotization in Griess reagent. Colour intensity was determined with Victor2 enzyme immunoanalyzer, Perkin Elmaer (Finland). The patients were divided into three groups. In group 1 (control, n = 30) they received combined medicamentous therapy, in group 2 (n = 45) medicamentous therapy and a course of intravenous laser therapy, in goup 3 (n = 45) medicamentous therapy and skin laserotherapy. The results indicate that medicamentous treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis does not bring any beneficial changes in plasma NOx whose levels are significantly improved in case of simultaneous laser therapy. It is concluded that different laserotherapeutic modalities have beneficial effect on NO-producing function of endothelium and thereby improve its functional state. Compensation of NO deficit by laser therapy ensures overall protection of the organism against free radicals and decreases severity of oxidative stress.

Acta Cir Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 1:29-32

The effect of laser on remanescent liver tissue after 90% hepatectomy in rats.

Oliveira AF, Silva TC, Sankarankutty AK, Pacheco EG, Ferreira J, Bagnato VS, Zucoloto S, Silva Ode C.

Departament of Surgery and Anatomy, FMRP, USP, Brazil.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of laser beam on reminiscent liver after partial hepatectomy 90%.

METHODS: Wistar rats, (N=42), were divided into six groups with seven specimens each. The partial hepatectomy (HP) was performed in all animals through exeresis of approximately 90% of the liver parenchyma. The animals from groups HP and Laser application, HPL24, HPL48 and HPL72 undertook laser irradiation carried out through application (dose of 22.5 J/cm2) in five different sites in the reminiscent liver. The rats were then sacrificed 24, 48 and 72 hours after HP procedure, for the liver regeneration analysis,using the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA),and for dosage of serum aminotransferases.

RESULTS: Were demonstrated an increase of the serum levels of alanine aminotransferase for the group of 24 hours and a decrease for the group of 72 hours exposed to laser. The index of marked cells had a considerable more improvement for the group of 72 hours exposed in laser compared to other groups.

CONCLUSION: Laser did not cause hepatic injuries additional to the partial hepatectomy and perhaps led to a benefit by stimulating the proliferative activity.

Acta Cir Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 1:29-32

New photonic technologies for the treatment and diagnosis of hepatic diseases.

Novas tecnologias fotonicas no tratamento e diagnostico de doencas hepaticas.

-An overview of the experimental work performed in collaboration, between Physics Institute of São Carlos and Ribeirão Preto Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo1
-Uma revisão dos trabalhos experimentais realizados em colaboração, entre o Instituto de Física de São Carlos e a Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto da Universidade de São Paulo

Vanderlei Salvador BagnatoI; Cristina KurachiII; Juliana FerreiraIII; Ajith Kumar SankarankuttyIV; Sérgio ZucolotoV; Orlando de Castro e SilvaVI

IFull Professor, (IFSC-USP), São Paulo, Brazil
IIPhD, (IFSC-USP), São Paulo, Brazil
IIIMaster, Fellow PhD degree, (IFSC-USP), São Paulo, Brazil
IVPhD, Professor of Division of Gastroenterology of the Department of Surgery and Anatomy, (FMRP-USP), Brazil
VFull Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology, (FMRP-USP), Brazil

VIFull Professor and Head of Division of Gastroenterology of the Department of Surgery and Anatomy, (FMRP-USP), Brazil Correspondence


Recent advances in optical techniques have created a great range of possibilities for diagnosis and therapeutics in liver related diseases. With the uses of efficient light sources like lasers and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) it is possible to employ the light-tissue interaction to promote hepatic tissue regeneration after partial hepatectomy, to detect hepatocarcinoma and steatosis by utilizing optical fluorescence, to evaluate the metabolism of the liver during hepatic transplantation as well as to treat liver tumors. We present here an overview of the technique presently in development at the Ribeirâo Preto Faculty of Medicine – USP in cooperation with the Physics Institute of São Carlos –USP. The results obtained so far have been the subject of a list of publications and are here presented as an overview. A new perspective for modern application of optical techniques in different medical practices related to the liver is presented.

Key words: Laser. Liver Regeneration. Fluorescence. Spectroscopy. Photo Therapy.


Recentes avanços em técnicas ópticas têm propiciado vasto campo de possibilidades tanto para o diagnóstico quanto para a terapêutica de doenças hepáticas.Com o uso de eficientes fontes de luz como o laser e Light emitting diodes (LED) é possível utilizar a interação luz-tecido para promover a regeneração hepática após hepatectomias parciais,detectar hepatocarcinoma, esteatose e outras alterações do fígado pelo uso da fluorescência óptica,para avaliar o metabolismo hepático durante o transplante de fígado e na abordagem diagnóstica e terapêutica de alterações hepatocelulares. Os autores apresentam uma ampla revisão de técnicas atualmente em desenvolvimento na Divisão de Gastroenterologia Cirúrgica da Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto da Universidade de São Paulo num trabalho cooperativo com o Instituto de Física de São Carlos da USP. Os resultados obtidos até agora têm sido motivo de lista de publicações que são aqui apresentados em forma de revisão. Uma nova perspectiva de moderna aplicação de técnicas ópticas em várias situações clínico-cirúrgicas relacionadas com o fígado é apresentada e amplamente discutida.

Descritores: Laser. Regeneração Hepática. Fluorescência. Espectroscopia. Fototerapia.

Dig Dis Sci. 2005 May;50(5):949-54.


Enhancement of liver regeneration by the association of Hyptis pectinata with laser therapy.



Melo GB, Silva RL, Melo VA, Lima SO, Antoniolli AR, Castro-E-silva T, Marcassa LG, Bagnato VS, Zucoloto S, Ramalho LN, Ramalho FS, Castro-E-silva O Jr.

Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Sergipe, Brazil.

Since new molecules that normally would accelerate regeneration can also be potentialized by light, the use of new substances combined with laser therapy seems to be a natural type of experiment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Hyptis pectinata leaves on liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) associated with laser therapy. Twenty-four rats were divided into four groups–PH(control), PHL (laser therapy), PH200 (200 mg/kg of Hyptispectinata), and PHL200 (200 mg/kg of the plant and laser)–which were submitted to 67% hepatectomy. Laser treatment consisted of focusing the light on the remaining liver after hepatectomy. The data analyzed were serum levels of aminotransferases, liver regeneration, and mitochondrial function. Group PH200 showed a statistically significant decrease in AST levels, and PHL200 disclosed an augmentation in ALT levels. The liver regeneration index was significantly increased in group PHL200. Concerning liver mitochondrial respiratory assay, groups PH200 and PHL200 showed lower state 3 levels than groups PH and PHL. Group PHL showed an increase in state 4 levels and a reduction in membrane potential and RCR. The present study shows that the association of the aqueous extract of Hyptis pectinata leaves at 200 mg/kg with intraoperative laser therapy can stimulate liver regeneration and cause a reduction in liver mitochondrial respiratory function without altering its phosphorylative activity.

Formos Med Assoc. 2003 Jul;102(7):486-91.


Effects of infrared and low-power laser irradiation on cell viability, glutathione and glutathione-related enzyme activities in primary rat hepatocytes.

Kao MJ, Sheen LY.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical College Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Both infrared and low-power laser have been applied to improve circulation, wound repair, and pain control. Infrared and low-power laser therapies have the potential for stimulating enzyme activities which might contribute to increased glutathione (GSH) concentration and provide protection against oxidative damage. This study investigated cell viability, and GSH and its related enzyme activities in rat hepatocytes after irradiation.

METHODS: Hepatocytes were isolated from 8-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats and the cultures were divided into infrared, laser, and control groups. The cells were treated with infrared and low-power laser at a distance of 35 cm for 20 minutes. The cell morphology, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage, lipid peroxidation, GSH concentration, GSH peroxidase, GSH reductase (GRd), and GSH S-transferase activities were measured after irradiation.

RESULTS: The morphology and LDH leakage of hepatocytes in the irradiation groups did not differ significantly from those of the control group. After infrared irradiation, a significant decrease in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and an increase in GSH concentration were found after 48 hours of incubation compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, laser irradiation resulted in a significant increase in GRd activity after 48 hours of incubation compared to the control group (p < 0.05). A 48-hour incubation period produced greater GRd activity in all groups compared to a 24-hour period (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Irradiation did not damage rat hepatocytes in this study. Infrared was shown to stimulate GSH production, while laser irradiation increased GRd activity.

Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2002 Jan-Feb;65(1):58-61.

Effects of riboxin, essentiale, and phylloquinone on the immodulating and antioxidant effect of laser and magneto-laser irradiation in liver toxicosis induced by gentamycin

[Article in Russian]

Konoplia NA, Prokopenko LG, Uteshev BS.

Biochemistry Department, Kursk State Medical University, ul. K. Marksa 3a, Kursk, 305033 Russia.

The introduction of gentamycine to Wistar rats leads to the toxic liver damage, suppresses humoral immune response to goat erythrocytes, and induces immunosuppressant properties in erythrocytes (caused by increased lipid peroxidation in their membranes and violated cell energy balance) Under these conditions, a combination of the laser or magneto-laser irradiation with the administration of phylloquinone of riboxin provides for a more effective correction of the immune reaction and antioxidant status as compared to the radiation treatment without drugs or with essential. Elimination of the gentamycine induced immunosuppressant properties of erythrocytes is explained by the ability of phylloquinone and essential to reduce the intensity of lipid peroxidation in the cell membranes and with the ability of riboxin to normalize the cell energy balance. An important factor of immunosuppression development in the case of a toxic liver damage caused by D-galactosamine it the interaction of thrombocytes and light erythrocytes with serum factors. The introduction of essential and riboxin favors this interaction and stimulates the development of immunosuppression in thrombocytes.

Ter Arkh. 2001;73(11):26-30.


Comparative efficacy of various methods of laser therapy in patients with acute viral hepatitis B

[Article in Russian]

Makashova VV, Poliakova AM, Maleev VV, Astrina OS, Shatrun TM.

AIM: To study response to laser therapy in different modes and effects on hemocoagulation in patients with acute viral hepatitis B (AVHB).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Of 173 patients with AVHB, 87 received only basic therapy, 28 patients received placebo (no laser radiation, only signal of the timer) and 58 patients were exposed to laser radiation (32 of them intravenously and 26 supravenously). A course consisted of 10-12 sessions, laser radiation per 1 procedure 300 and 30 mJ, respectively. In addition to routine examinations, hemocoagulation was studied (platelet aggregation and desaggregation, electrocogulogram).

RESULTS: Intoxication, hemorrhagic phenomena, jaundice, infusion therapy, hospital stay were shorter in AVHB patients exposed to laser therapy. Mode of action (intra- or supravenous) was insignificant.

CONCLUSION: Laser therapy normalizes hemostasis and platelet function. Clinical effectiveness of laser was the same in both modes.

Lik Sprava. 2002;(2):39-42.


A comparative study of different methods of treatment and bezonal in the absorptive and excretory liver function in patients with acute diffuse peritonitis

[Article in Russian]

Gul’mukhamedov BA.

Patients with acute general peritonitis display in the postoperative period manifest disturbances in the pharmacokinetics of cardiogreen. Conventional therapies, blood ultra-violet irradiation procedures, intravascular irradiation of blood with laser, and hyperbaric oxygenation have no positive effect on the detected inadequacies. Hemosorption embarked on in the complex of therapeutic measures in the above category of patients appeared to have but insignificant positive effect. Benzonal has been shown to have an apparent corrective effect on disordered pharmacokinetics of cardiogreen in patients with acute general peritonitis in the postoperative period.


Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 2001; 29(1): 73-77.

Laser enhancement in hepatic regeneration for partially hepatectomized rats.

De Castro e Silva O Jr, Zucoloto S, Menegazzo L A G, Granato R G et al.

The bio-stimulation effect of laser has been observed in many areas of Medicine. However, there are a few works which investigate its use for liver regeneration. Most of their results were inconclusive due to the use of high power lasers. This work was carried out to investigate the bio-stimulation effect of laser in liver regeneration using low power lasers. We used Wistar male rats, which were irradiated with laser light (wavelength 590 nm and intensity of 50 mW/cm2 for 5 minutes after 70% hepatectomy. The respiratory mitochondrial activity, the serum level of aminotransferase and the PCNA were measured. Results: Our results show a dramatic increase in the mitochondrial activity for the laser treated group at 24 hours after the hepatectomy. Conclusion: We conclude that the laser promotes a bio-stimulation effect on the early stages of liver regeneration without any detectable damage of the cells.

Fiziol Zh. 1999;45(6):31-6.


The comparative effect of magnetic and laser irradiation of the liver and blood on the bile-secretory function in rats

[Article in Ukrainian]

Hudyma AA.

I. Gorbachevsky State Medical Academy, Ministry of Public Health of the Ukraine, Ternopil.

The influence of percutaneous magnetolazer irradiation of the blood and liver on the bile secretion, general bilirubin excretion and its fractions, cholesterol and bile acids rate was studied experimentally on male rats. A laser generator “Luch-2” with a magnetic nozzle (wave-length 0.82 mm, power density 0.178, magnetic field tension 30-35 mT, the course s 2 daily procedures) was used. Bile secretion intensity was noted to depend on the dose. Maximal bile secretion and its basic components were observed during the liver irrigation with an exposition for 120 s and blood ones with an exposition for 240 s respectively. Bile secretion rate was higher during magnetolazer influence on the blood. Liver irrigation was associated with an increased secretion of the conjugated bilirubin. Thus, there are various stimulant mechanisms of the liver function activity in the course of magnetolazer influence on the liver and blood.

Eksp Med Morfol. 1978;17(2):85-91.

Incorporation of glycine(14C) into liver proteins during low energy laser pulse irradiation.

[Article in Bulgarian]

Ra?nov A, Chobanova D.

The authors examined the action of irradiation with ruby lazer at lambda=6,948 A and level of energy 0.13 j/sm2. Liver of rats was irradiated through the surrounding tissues in five successive impulses. The skin in the region of action was stained with methylene blue. Changes in the incorporation of the label in the free amino-acids, in total cholesterol of liver and ribosomal protein as well as the proteins in the supernatant over ribosomes were examined. Glycine (14C) was identified by chromatographic was and autoradiographycaly. The relative radioactivity was determined by a scintillation radiometer. The data, estimated statistically, on the studies showed that 48 hours after lazer irradiation the incorporation of glycine was elevated over 12%. There were no apparent changes macroscopicaly and in the usual histologic preparations during the same period of time. Electronmicroscopic investigation revealed a certain alteration of the membrane structures, vacuolization at sites, but preserved ribosomal structures, accumulation of glycogen. The established changes were described as a manifestation of nonthermic effects of the type “striking wave” with successive increased course of reparative processes.