Laser photobiomodulation for cartilage defect in animal models of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Lasers Med Sci. 2019 Dec 17. Epub 2019 Dec 17. PMID: 31845042
To review and assess the efficacy of laser photobiomodulation for cartilage defect in animal models of knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Medline, Web of Science, and EMBASE were searched. Studies were considered if the global quality score of cartilage were parallelly reported between laser and untreated control groups. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using a modified 10-item checklist. The effect size was estimated by standardized mean difference (SMD) and pooled based on the random-effects model. Stratified analysis and regression analysis were conducted to partition potential heterogeneity. An adjusted significant level of 0.01 was acceptable. Five hundred eight initial search recordings were identified, of which 14 studies (including 274 animals) were included for quantitative analysis. The global quality scores mostly weighted by the structural integrity and chondrocyte distribution were measured by different four scales including Histologic Histochemical Grading System (HHGS), Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI), Pineda, and Huang. There were considerable variances on laser parameters and irradiation time among those included studies. Overall, a moderate level of methodological qualities was determined. The synthesis results indicated that the SMD effect size was significantly larger in HHGS (z = 2.61, P = 0.01) and Huang (z = 4.90, P < 0.01) groups. Stratified by irradiance, SMD of low (< 1 W/cm) but not high (≥ 1 W/cm) level estimated significant difference (z = 5.62, P < 0.01). Meta-regression identified a significant association for SMDs and irradiation time (P < 0.01). Yet, Egger's test detected small study effect (P < 0.01). No individual study with significant variance was found in homogeneity tests. The results demonstrated the positive effect of laser photobiomodulation for cartilage defect in animal models of KOA under proper irradiance and adequate irradiation time.