Comparison of Energy Spread Homogeneity in Automated and Manual Class 4 Laser Therapy
BACKGROUND: The application of Class IV laser therapies in the last two decades is a continuously growing physical modality based on its bio stimulation and pain relief effects, while simultaneously being a non-invasive therapy. Due to its high power output which can provide thermic effects and shorten therapy time, as well as long wavelength which allows for superior penetration into deep structures when compared lowing level laser therapies, makes Class IV laser a preferred laser therapy option. As technology trends change and advance the demand for automated lasers coming out onto the market is expanding. It is of vital importance that the reliability of such automated laser systems meet or surpass certain standards and expectations of reliability when compared to manual laser therapy applications. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the homogeneity of the spread of energy delivered by the manual hand piece and automated scanning system applications to the back area of 100 cm2 with a maximal power of 30W and single wavelength of 1064 nm. METHODS: 70 patients were assigned into two groups based on their skin types according to the Fitzpatrick scale. Group I consisted of skin type II and III, while Group II consisted of skin type IV and V. Treatment methods were the same for both groups, where each patient received an initial treatment with the manual applicator and one week later received treatment with the automated applicator. A Fluke infrared camera was used to obtain thermal images and values of both treatment methods for (qualitative and quantitative) comparison. RESULTS: Based on the thermal images evaluation, mean difference in temperature for each application, and homogeneity coefficient evaluation, a significant (p>0.01) difference was observed between the manual application and automatic application for both skin type groups, in which the automated application provided a more homogeneous spread of energy compared to the manual application using the hand piece. Moreover, there was no significant difference (p>0.01) for either application on different skin type groups. CONCLUSION: Class IV automated laser application, with a single 1064 nm wavelength and power of up to 30 W was found to provide a greater homogenous spread of energy in relation to the Class IV manual application.
Hans Olaf Baack*