Histological Effects of Er:YAG Laser Irradiation with Snoring Handpiece in the Rat Soft Palate

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Ünver T.

Photomedicine And Laser Surgery, vol.34, no.8, pp.321-325, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: Photomedicine And Laser Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.321-325
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of laser irradiation with a novel snoring handpiece on

the histological structures of the soft palate in a rat model. Background: Snoring is a common problem and

studies have shown that 20–50% of the population is affected. An apnea–hypopnea index of <5/h without

daytime somnolence is documented as simple snoring. No snoring treatment should ever be attempted until a

sleep study has been completed to rule out sleep apnea. Methods: Twenty adult Wistar rats, weighing 200–

250 g, were used in this study. Rats were randomized into two groups: experimental group (n = 10) and control

group (n = 10). Laser energy was delivered in a horizontal direction to the surface of the soft palate of each rat in

the experimental group for 2 min with an Er:YAG laser (LightWalker AT; Fotona) with snoring handpiece

(PS04) in a noncontact mode (1.15 W, 2 Hz, 1.5 J/cm2). The animals were sacrificed after 24 h, 1 week, 3 weeks,

or 5 weeks. The soft palate of each rat was removed by excisional biopsy. The specimens underwent histological

examination. Contractions and fibrosis were reported as grading from 1+ to 3+, while edema and

hyperemia were evaluated according to the absence (0) or presence (1) of any changes. Statistical analysis was

done with the Mann–Whitney U and Spearman’s rho tests. Result: A noticeable contraction of the soft palate

occurred immediately after laser application. Inflammatory changes were observed histologically at 3 weeks

postoperatively. Keratinization appeared after the procedure in both groups and decreased gradually. Statistically,

there was a strong correlation among inflammation and time and also keratinization and time ( p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The present study indicates that Er:YAG laser irradiation with snoring handpiece (PS04) causes

acute shrinkage of the mucosa. This contraction decreases gradually but is still present at the end of fifth week.