Journal of Biomedical OpticsPulsed versus continuous wave low-level light therapy on osteoarticular signs and symptoms in limited scleroderma (CREST syndrome): a case report
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Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc) was formerly known as CREST syndrome in reference to the associated clinical features: calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasias. The transforming growth factor beta has been identified as a major player in the pathogenic process, where low-level light therapy (LLLT) has been shown to modulate this cytokine superfamily. This case study was conducted to assess the efficacy of 940 nm using millisecond pulsing and continuous wave (CW) modes on osteoarticular signs and symptoms associated with lcSSc. The patient was treated two to three times a week for 13 weeks using a sequential pulsing mode on one elbow and a CW mode on the other. Efficacy assessments included inflammation, symptoms, pain, health scales, patient satisfaction, clinical global impression, and adverse effects monitoring. Considerable functional and morphologic improvements were observed after LLLT, with the best results seen with the pulsing mode. No adverse effects were noted. Pulsed LLLT represents a treatment alternative for osteoarticular signs and symptoms in limited scleroderma (CREST syndrome).