Comparative evaluation of low-level laser and systemic steroid therapy in adjuvant-enhanced arthritis of rat temporomandibular joint: A histological study

Faezeh Khozeimeh, Ahmad Moghareabed, Maryam Allameh, Shahrzad Baradaran


Background: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has shown a promising effect in ameliorating symptoms
of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this investigation was to compare the early and late antiinfl
ammatory effects of LLLT and betamethasone in RA.
Materials and Methods: In this animal experimental study, after inducing a model of RA in
temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of 37 Wistar rats using adjuvant injection, they were randomly distributed
into three experimental groups of 12 animals each: (1) LLLT group; (2) steroid group which received a single
dose of betamethasone systemically; and (3) positive control group, which did not receive any treatment.
One rat served as the negative control. Half of the animals in all the experimental groups were sacrifi ced on
the 21st day after RA induction (early phase), and the other half were sacrifi ced 2 weeks later (late phase).
Then, the severity of TMJ infl ammation was assessed histologically in each group on a semi-quantitative
scale. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare differences (α = 0.05).
Results: The LLLT and steroid groups showed signifi cantly (P < 0.05) lower infl ammation mean
scores in both early (5.66 [±1.86] and 1.66 [±1.21], respectively) and late phases of evaluation
(1.16 [±1.47] and 6.50 [±1.04], respectively) compared to positive control group in early and late
stages of assessment (11.66 [±3.50] and 8.66 [±1.36], respectively). However, the best results
(P < 0.005) were achieved in early phase of the steroid group as well as late phase of the LLLT group.
Conclusion: Within limitations of this study, it may be concluded that LLLT method has a long-term
promising effect on reducing infl ammation severity of TMJ similar to betamethasone in earlier stages.
Key Words: Arthritis, betamethasone, low-level laser therapy, temporomandibular joint

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