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Blood irradiation therapy


Related terms

Related Terms
  • Autotransfusion of laser-irradiated blood, autotransfusion of ultraviolet blood irradiation, blue light blood irradiation, endovascular irradiation, extracorporeal ultraviolet blood irradiation, extracorporeal ultraviolet blood radiation, helium-neon laser, hemotherapy, intracorporeal laser irradiation of the blood, intranasal blood irradiation, intranasal light therapy, intravascular laser irradiation, intravenous laser blood irradiation, intravenous laser blood radiation, intravenous low-intensity laser irradiation of the blood, Knott technic of blood irradiation therapy, Knott technique of blood irradiation therapy, laser blood irradiation, low-energy He-Ne laser, low-energy semiconductor laser intranasal irradiation of the blood, low-intensity laser irradiation, low-intensity laser therapy, red coherent irradiation, transcutaneous irradiation, ultraviolet blood irradiation, ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy.

  • Blood irradiation therapy is a technique in which a person's blood is exposed to light. The treatment may be given through a vein via a catheter, through the blood vessels of the nose, or through the skin. The therapy is believed to have originated in Asia (mainly Russia) and most research was conducted in Russia. Blood irradiation may involve laser or ultraviolet (UV) light, and may involve the irradiation of blood while in the body or out of the body.
  • Blood irradiation therapy is used for various conditions. It is most commonly used for heart conditions and inflammation. Blood irradiation has also been studied for lung conditions, diabetes, disorders of the stomach and intestines, arthritis, and pregnancy support.
  • Evidence is lacking to support the use of blood irradiation therapy for any condition. More research is needed.

  • General: Laser blood irradiation is believed to improve qualities of blood, such as improved flow and transport. Other improvements may include better oxygen levels and supply to the tissues, increased cell energy formation, and positive effects on hemoglobin (the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood). Irradiation may also relieve pain, enabling increased exercise tolerance, and may prevent clotting. It is also believed that blood irradiation may increase immune function to viral and bacterial infections. Other benefits include detoxification, anti-inflammatory effects, and nervous system regulation.
  • Blood irradiation on the skin: High power laser light is applied to healthy, unbroken skin, on areas containing large numbers of blood vessels. Some experts believe that this therapy may be used repeatedly due to the lack of tissue/skin penetration. However, nearby tissue (such as muscles, nerves, and skin) may also be exposed to irradiation, and a higher irradiation power is needed. Blood irradiation on the skin uses infrared laser irradiation of the skin using a wavelength of 830 nanometers with an output of 40 milliwatts and a frequency of 5 hertz. The procedure is conducted daily or every other day for 6-10 sessions.
  • Blood irradiation in the nose: A small device that shines light, called a diode, is placed into the nose. The light diode is usually a low intensity red color laser or normal red light. The nasal cavity contains a large number of small blood vessels.
  • Laser blood irradiation in the veins: This technique involves feeding a low power laser light into the forearm vein. Advantages include use of a low level of laser, and disadvantages include inconvenience, risk of infection, and the need for a high level of medical skill. However, self-powered irradiation devices exist that may help address some of the disadvantages of this procedure. Laser blood irradiation given into the vein uses a helium-neon laser (632.8 nanometers) with an output of 1-4 milliwatts and a daily exposure of 10-60 minutes daily or on alternate days, for 3-10 sessions.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation: Approximately 200 milliliters of blood is taken from a vein and exposed to UV irradiation outside of the body. The blood is then returned to the blood stream. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of the blood involves a MD73M "Izolda" device with a UV irradiation dose of 100-150 joules and 180-6000 milliliters of irradiated blood.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *

A combination of conventional treatment and laser irradiation given into the veins improved asthma symptoms. However, a clear effect of blood irradiation is lacking and further study is needed.


Ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation therapy may help treat sudden deafness. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.


Laser blood irradiation given into the vein reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Blood irradiation therapy may also be useful for type 1 diabetes, but details are lacking. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.


Blood irradiation may benefit people who have unstable angina pectoris (unexpected chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart). Blood irradiation may benefit people with clogged arteries when combined with plasmapheresis, a type of blood purifying technique. Further research is needed.


Ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation may improve symptoms and reduce bacteria in people with pulmonary tuberculosis (a bacterial lung infection) and bronchitis. Laser blood irradiation may also benefit people who have pneumonia and bronchitis. Blood irradiation given into the vein reduced complications and hospital stay associated with chronic lung conditions, as well as increased therapy effectiveness, in people with bronchitis. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.


Laser blood irradiation given into the vein as part of a combination treatment may benefit people with artery disease in the lower limbs. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.


Blood irradiation therapy may help prevent abortion in women with lower stomach cramps and/or vaginal bleeding and/or premature labor. In women with incomplete abortions due to uterine infection, ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation therapy given with surgery may promote recovery. Further study is needed before conclusions can be made.


Various types of laser irradiation have been used before surgery in people with internal stomach bleeding. However, the benefits of laser blood irradiation given into the vein to prevent bleeding complications after tumor removal are unclear. Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UV) has been studied before and after biliary tract surgery, and may reduce associated nausea and vomiting, loss of nutrients, stomach swelling, and other complications. However, details are limited.


Evidence of benefit of blood irradiation therapy was mixed in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Further study is needed.


Early research suggests that laser blood irradiation given through the vein may improve ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. Laser blood therapy has been studied in combination with other treatments. Further research is needed.

* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Abnormal heart rhythms, abscess (pus buildup), allergies, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-spasm, antiviral, bile duct disorders, blood thinner, bone diseases, burn and wound care, bursitis (swelling between muscles, tendons, and joints), cancer, cellulitis (skin infection), coma, coronary artery disease, dental conditions, detoxification (blood), diabetic eye disease, diabetic foot pain, diabetic foot ulcers, encephalopathy (brain disease), exercise capacity, gut disorders, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune system regulation, infection, inflammation, kidney disorders, mortality, nerve damage, pain, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), peritonitis (inflammation of the stomach lining), poisoning, polio, radiation side effects, schizophrenia, sepsis (severe response to infection), shock, thrombophlebitis (vein swelling caused by blood clot), trauma, tuberculosis (bacterial infection), typhoid fever, vasodilator (widens blood vessels)


Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

  • Blood irradiation therapy is possibly safe when used in otherwise healthy people under the guidance of a trained health professional.
  • Blood irradiation therapy may cause hematomas (collection of blood outside the blood vessel), hives, immune changes, increased infection risk, lung spasms, stiffness, and worsened inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Blood irradiation therapy may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people with heart conditions or low blood pressure, or those taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Blood irradiation therapy may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Blood irradiation therapy may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Use cautiously in people with immune disorders, lung conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, skin conditions, or those taking agents that affect the immune system.
  • Use cautiously when B vitamin complex, taktivin, and ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation are used together in people with sepsis (severe response to infection). This combination may be less effective compared to just B vitamin complex and taktivin.
  • Avoid sulfa drugs in the first 4-5 days following ultraviolet (UV) blood irradiation therapy. Avoid muscle injections within 1.5 hours after the session.
  • Note: Experts recommend medical care and carbohydrates taken by mouth for 1.5-2 hours following the session.
  • Blood irradiation therapy may interact with agents used for the blood, agents used for the heart, agents used for the lungs, agents used for musculoskeletal disorders, agents used for the skin, agents that affect the immune system, anti-abortion agents, anti-arthritis agents, anti-asthma agents, antibacterials, antibiotics, anticancer agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants, antiulcer agents, B vitamins, cholesterol-lowering agents, hemosorption, plasmapheresis, and taktivin.

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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