Equine Wound Healing Research

This study did not find any positive effect of LEDs on experimental wound healing.

This study did not find any positive effect of LEDs on experimental wound healing. iStock

Effect of infrared and red monochromatic light on equine wound healing” was authored by P. Michanek; T, Toth; E, Bergström; H, Treffenberg‐Pettersson; and A. Bergh.

This randomized, blinded, controlled study investigated how pulsating visible red light (λ ≈ 637 nm) and near‐infra red (NIR) light (λ ≈ 956 nm), affects swelling and wound healing in healthy horses.

Eight healthy adult Standardbred horses had a full-thickness skin wound created using a custom made, 2 cm diameter circular punch on both sides of their neck under sedation and local anesthesia. 

The wounds were left uncovered to heal by secondary intention. 

One wound per horse was randomly allocated to receive light‐emitting diode (LED) treatment on Days 0–4, 7–11, 14–18 and 21–25, with the wound on the opposite side of the neck acting as an untreated control. Treatment was conducted using a handheld device (BCD 650 Animal, Biolight AB) using a pre‐set program with a duration of 4 minutes and 40 seconds (red light was emitted for 95 seconds and NIR light for 185 seconds). 

The wounds were evaluated ultrasonographically for swelling and photographed daily. Wounds were considered to be healed when an epithelial layer covered the entire wound surface.

None of the wounds showed clinical signs of infection over the study period. Wound area and degree of swelling did not differ between the treated and control groups on any day. There was a significant difference in healing time between control and treated wounds, with LED light‐treated wounds taking longer to heal than control wounds.

Bottom line: This study did not find any positive effect of LEDs on experimental wound healing.

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