Skip to main content

Table 2 Characteristics of 4 observational studies regarding LLLT (PBM) for BCRL

From: Low level laser therapy (Photobiomodulation therapy) for breast cancer-related lymphedema: a systematic review

Authors (Year) Participants Interventions
(No. Participants)
Co-intervention Outcome Measures Measured
Time Points
Conclusions Comments Funding Sources
Mayrovitz and Davey (2011) [54] 38 women, unilateral BCRL; 38 subjects (19 M/19 F), secondary leg lymphedema (1) LLLT (n = 76)
(2) Sham laser (n = 17 secondary ley lymphedema)
Manual lymphatic drainage: following (1) and (2) Limb circumference i: Baseline
ii: Post-Tx
iii: Post a manual lymphatic drainage
LLLT would reduce the skin water and tissue indentation resistance in patients with arm or leg lymphedema. Observational study in Phase 1- LLLT (n = 76), sham laser in Phase 2- secondary leg lymphedema only NR
Dirican et al. (2011) [55] 17 women, unilateral BCRL limited responsive to current therapy LLLT (n = 17) Conventional Tx I: Limb circumference
II: Pain
III: Range of motion
i: Baseline
ii: End of Cycle 1
iii: End of Cycle 2
Patients with BCRL received additional benefits from LLLT when used in conjunction with standard treatment. Two cycles were found to be superior. Small sample size; statistical methods not clear NR
Piller and Thelander (1995/
1998) [44, 45]
10 women, unilateral BCRL LLLT (n = 10) Skin care instructions I: Limb circumference
II: Limb volume
i: Baseline,
ii: Biweekly in Tx
iii: 1 mo post-Tx
iv: 3 mo post-Tx
v: 6 mo post-Tx
vi: 36 mo post-Tx*
LLLT, at least initially, improved most objective and subjective parameters of arm lymphedema. Small sample size; lacked demographics; statistical significance unknown Flinders 2000 & Flinders University
  1. *36-months follow-up only applies to [45]
  2. BCRL breast cancer-related lymphedema, F female, LLLT low level laser therapy, M male, mo months, NR not reported, Tx treatment