Sıtkıcan Okur, Zafer Okumuş

Department of Veterinary Surgery, Atatürk University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Erzurum, Türkiye

Keywords: Low-level laser therapy, knee joint, prednisolone, rheumatoid arthritis, therapeutic ultrasound.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate and monitor the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and therapeutic ultrasound (TU) alone, or combined with intra-articular prednisolone (P) in Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA)-induced knee arthritis model in rats.

Materials and methods: A total of 56 adult male Wistar rats were divided into seven groups: control (C), disease control (RA), P, TU, LLLT (L), P + TU (P+TU), P + LLLT (P+L) groups. The skin temperature, radiography, joint volume, serum rheumatoid factor (RF), interleukin (IL)-1β, serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and histopathological evaluation of joint were performed.

Results: Thermal imaging and radiographic examination provided results consistent with the severity of the disease. The mean joint temperature (°C) was the highest in the RA (36.2±1.6) group on Day 28. The P+TU and P+L groups significantly decreased radiological scores at the end of the study. The rat serum TNF-α, IL-1β, and RF levels in all groups were significantly higher compared to the C group (p<0.05). Compared to the RA group, serum TNF-α, IL-1β, and RF levels were significantly lower in the treatment groups (p<0.05). The P+TU and P+L group was showed minimal chondrocyte degeneration and cartilage erosion and mild cartilage fibrillation and mononuclear cell infiltration of synovial membrane compared to the P, TU, and L group.

Conclusion: The LLLT and TU effectively reduced inflammation. In addition, a more effective result was obtained from the use of LLLT and TU combined with intra-articular P. This result may be due to insufficient dose of LLLT and TU, thus further studies should be focus on at higher dose ranges on FCA arthritis model in rats.

Citation: Okur S, Okumuş Z. Effects of low-level laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound on Freund’s complete adjuvant-induced knee arthritis model in rats. Arch Rheumatol 2023;38(1):32-43.

Ethics Committee Approval

All experimental procedures were approved by The Atatürk University Local Ethics Committees of Animal Experiments, which were based on the guidelines suggested by the recommendations of the National Institutes of Health Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Decision no: 2018/107).

Data Sharing Statement:
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the study design, material preparation, data collection, statistical analysis, supervision and writing of the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

This study was prepared depending on the Doctoral thesis of Sıtkıcan Okur and supported under project number TDK-2018-6821, provided by the Research Fund of Atatürk University, Erzurum, Türkiye.


The authors would like to thank Elif Do¤an and Latif Emrah Yanmaz for supporting prepare of the paper and thank Serkan Yıldırım and Sefa Küçükler for supporting histopathology evaluation and biochemical analysis.