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J Inflamm Res ; 14: 965-979, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194524


PURPOSE: Evidence-based and effective treatments for COVID-19 are limited, and a new wave of infections and deaths calls for novel, easily implemented treatment strategies. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a well-known adjunctive treatment for pain management, wound healing, lymphedema, and cellulitis. PBMT uses light to start a cascade of photochemical reactions that lead to local and systemic anti-inflammatory effects at multiple levels and that stimulate healing. Numerous empirical studies of PBMT for patients with pulmonary disease such as pneumonia, COPD and asthma suggest that PBMT is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment. Recent systematic reviews suggest that PBMT may be applied to target lung tissue in COVID-19 patients. In this preliminary study, we evaluated the effect of adjunctive PBMT on COVID-19 pneumonia and patient clinical status. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We present a small-scale clinical trial with 10 patients randomized to standard medical care or standard medical care plus adjunctive PBMT. The PBMT group received four daily sessions of near-infrared light treatment targeting the lung tissue via a Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser. Patient outcomes were measured via blood work, chest x-rays, pulse oximetry and validated scoring tools for pneumonia. RESULTS: PBMT patients showed improvement on pulmonary indices such as SMART-COP, BCRSS, RALE, and CAP (Community-Acquired Pneumonia questionnaire). PBMT-treated patients showed rapid recovery, did not require ICU admission or mechanical ventilation, and reported no long-term sequelae at 5 months after treatment. In the control group, 60% of patients were admitted to the ICU for mechanical ventilation. The control group had an overall mortality of 40%. At a 5-month follow-up, 40% of the control group experienced long-term sequelae. CONCLUSION: PBMT is a safe and effective potential treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia and improves clinical status in COVID-19 pneumonia.

Can J Respir Ther ; 56: 52-56, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059984


INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 poses a higher risk of complications in obese patients due to low respiratory system compliance, increased inflammatory cytokines, and an activated immune system secondary to excess adiposity. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has significant anti-inflammatory effects and reduces inflammatory cytokines. It is noninvasive and approved for pain management and musculoskeletal injuries. Data from human and experimental animal models of respiratory tract disease suggests that LLLT reduces inflammation and promotes lung healing. CASE AND OUTCOMES: A morbidly obese 32-year-old Asian female with severe COVID-19 received four consecutive once-daily LLLT sessions via a laser scanner. Pulsed 808 nm and 905 nm laser beams were delivered over the posterior chest for 28 min. The patient was evaluated before and after LLLT by radiological assessment of lung edema (RALE) on chest X-ray, oxygen requirements and saturation, pneumonia severity indices (SMART-COP and Brescia-COVID), blood inflammatory markers (interleukin-6, ferritin, and C-Reactive protein (CRP)). Prior to treatment, oxygen saturation (SpO2) via pulse oximetry was 88%-93% on 5-6 L oxygen. Following LLLT, SpO2 increased to 97%-99% on 1-3 L oxygen. Reductions in RALE score from 8 to 3, Brescia-COVID from 4 to 0, and SMART-COP from 5 to 0 were observed. Interleukin-6 decreased from 45.89 to 11.7 pg/mL, ferritin from 359 to 175 ng/mL, and CRP from 3.04 to 1.43 mg/dL. Post-treatment, the patient noted appreciable improvement in respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSION: Following LLLT our patient showed improvement over a few days in respiratory indices, radiological findings, inflammatory markers, and patient outcomes. This report suggests that adjunct LLLT can be safely combined with conventional treatment in patients with severe COVID-19 and morbid obesity.

Am J Case Rep ; 21: e926779, 2020 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-736892


BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with lung inflammation and cytokine storm. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) is a safe, non-invasive therapy with significant anti-inflammatory effects. Adjunct PBMT has been employed in treating patients with lung conditions. Human studies and experimental models of respiratory disease suggest PBMT reduces inflammation and promotes lung healing. This is the first time supportive PBMT was used in a severe case of COVID-19 pneumonia. CASE REPORT A 57-year-old African American man with severe COVID-19 received 4 once-daily PBMT sessions by a laser scanner with pulsed 808 nm and super-pulsed 905 nm modes for 28 min. The patient was evaluated before and after treatment via radiological assessment of lung edema (RALE) by CXR, pulmonary severity indices, blood tests, oxygen requirements, and patient questionnaires. Oxygen saturation (SpO2) increased from 93-94% to 97-100%, while the oxygen requirement decreased from 2-4 L/min to 1 L/min. The RALE score improved from 8 to 5. The Pneumonia Severity Index improved from Class V (142) to Class II (67). Additional pulmonary indices (Brescia-COVID and SMART-COP) both decreased from 4 to 0. CRP normalized from 15.1 to 1.23. The patient reported substantial improvement in the Community-Acquired Pneumonia assessment tool. CONCLUSIONS This report has presented supportive PBMT in a patient with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Respiratory indices, radiological findings, oxygen requirements, and patient outcomes improved over several days and without need for a ventilator. Future controlled clinical trials are required to evaluate the effects of PBMT on clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

African Americans , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Low-Level Light Therapy/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , United States/epidemiology