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Preliminary investigations on therapy thresholds for laser dosimetry, cryogen spray cooling duration, and treatment cycles for laser cartilage reshaping in the New Zealand white rabbit auricle


Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of laser irradiation (λ = 1.45 μm) in tandem with cryogen spray cooling (CSC) to reshape rabbit auricular cartilage using a total energy density of 14 J/cm(2). The aim of this study was to further explore and identify the dosimetry parameter space for laser output energy, CSC duration, and treatment cycles required to achieve shape change while limiting skin and cartilage injury. Ten New Zealand white rabbits were treated with the 1.45 μm diode laser combined with cryogen spray cooling (Candela Smoothbeam™, Candela Co., Wayland, MA, USA). The ear's central portion was bent around a cylindrical jig and irradiated in consecutive spots of 6 mm diameter (13 or 14 J/cm(2) per spot) along three rows encompassing the bend. CSC was delivered during irradiation in cycles consisting of 25-35 ms. At thin and thick portions of the ear, 4-7 and 6-10 treatment cycles were delivered, respectively. After surgery, ears were examined and splinted for 6 weeks. Treatment parameters resulting in acceptable (grades 1 and 2) and unacceptable (grade 3) skin injuries for thick and thin regions were identified, and shape change was observed. Confocal and histological analysis of cartilage tissue revealed several outcomes correlating to laser dosimetry, CSC duration, and treatment cycles. These outcomes included expansion of cartilage layers (thickening), partial cartilage injuries, and full-thickness cartilage injuries. We determined therapy thresholds for laser output energy, cryogen spray cooling duration, and treatment cycles in the rabbit auricular model. These parameters are a starting point for future clinical procedures aimed at correcting external ear deformities.

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