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Treatment of Thromboangiitis Obliterans Using Smoking Cessation and Far-infrared Therapy: A Case Study. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2017 Jul;63(7):20-23.

Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger’s disease) is a rare, nonatherosclerotic segmental inflammatory vasculitis that commonly involves small- and medium-sized vessels. Ischemic tenderness impairs patient quality of life and places patients at high risk for amputation. The only definitive known treatment is smoking cessation. Far-infrared (FIR) therapy has shown promising effects on blood flow and healing, but its use in patients with Buerger’s disease has not been reported. A 31-year-old man with a 15-pack-year history of smoking, no drug abuse, and no other significant medical history, trauma, or family history diagnosed with thromboangiitis obliterans presented for care at the authors’ clinic. Claudication with severe tenderness of both legs and an ischemic ulcer over the right big toe were noted. After surgical debridement of the devitalized tissue, the patient received FIR therapy (5-25 µm, peak at 8.2 µm) applied 25 cm above the surface of the ischemic wound for 40 minutes, 3 times per week. The patient also tapered his smoking. The wound started to heal; granulation tissue was evident and, after 8 weeks, the right lower extremities gradually rewarmed from 24° C to 28° C as measured on the dorsal foot. His pain level decreased from 8 to 5. FIR therapy was continued until the patient stopped smoking (8 months). At the 10-month follow-up visit, the wound had healed completely and resting pain had improved. The results of this case study suggest additional research to explore the potential effects of FIR on patients with thromboangiitis obliterans is warranted.

Far-infrared protects vascular endothelial cells from advanced glycation end products-induced injury via PLZF-mediated autophagy in diabetic mice. Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 10;7:40442.

The accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in diabetic patients induces vascular endothelial injury. Promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (PLZF) is a transcription factor that can be activated by low-temperature far-infrared (FIR) irradiation to exert beneficial effects on the vascular endothelium. In the present study, we investigated the influence of FIR-induced PLZF activation on AGE-induced endothelial injury both in vitro and in vivo. FIR irradiation inhibited AGE-induced apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). PLZF activation increased the expression of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K), which are important kinases in the autophagic signaling pathway. FIR-induced PLZF activation led to autophagy in HUVEC, which was mediated through the upregulation of PI3K. Immunofluorescence staining showed that AGEs were engulfed by HUVECs and localized to lysosomes. FIR-induced autophagy promoted AGEs degradation in HUVECs. In nicotinamide/streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, FIR therapy reduced serum AGEs and AGEs deposition at the vascular endothelium. FIR therapy also reduced diabetes-induced inflammatory markers in the vascular endothelium and improved vascular endothelial function. These protective effects of FIR therapy were not found in PLZF-knockout mice. Our data suggest that FIR-induced PLZF activation in vascular endothelial cells protects the vascular endothelium in diabetic mice from AGE-induced injury.

Association of Far-Infrared Radiation Therapy and Ankle-Brachial Index of Patients on Hemodialysis with Peripheral Artery Occlusive Disease. Int J Med Sci. 2016 Dec 7;13(12):970-976.


  • The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is recognized to be a good marker for atherosclerosis, and is useful in the diagnosis of peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD) which is prevalent among patients on hemodialysis (HD).
    • METHODS:
    • This randomized trial aimed to evaluate the effect of far-infrared radiation (FIR) therapy on ABI in HD patients with PAOD. PAOD was defined as patients with ABI < 0.95. One hundred and eight HD patients were enrolled, including 50 in the control group and 58 in the FIR group. A WS TY101 FIR emitter was applied for 40 minutes during each HD session, three times per week for six months. The ABI was measured before and after the FIR therapy.
      • RESULTS:
      • Regardless of FIR therapy, the bilateral ABI decreased (in the FIR group, left: 0.88±0.22 to 0.85±0.24, p = 0.188; right: 0.92±0.20 to 0.90±0.23, p = 0.372; in control group, left: 0.91±0.23 to 0.88±0.21, p = 0144; right: 0.93±0.17 to 0.89±0.21, p = 0.082). Multivariate logistic analysis of the FIR group revealed that high uric acid (odds ratio [OR]: 2.335; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.117-4.882; p=0.024) and aspirin use (OR: 16.463; 95% CI: 1.787-151.638; p=0.013) were independently associated with increased bilateral ABI after FIR therapy.


    • This study demonstrates that ABI is not increased after FIR therapy in HD patients with PAOD. However, in the FIR group, patients with higher uric acid level or those who used aspirin have increased bilateral ABI after FIR therapy.

MicroRNA-134 Contributes to Glucose-Induced Endothelial Cell Dysfunction and This Effect Can Be Reversed by Far-Infrared Irradiation. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147067.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease that is increasing worldwide. Furthermore, it is associated with the deregulation of vascular-related functions, which can develop into major complications among DM patients. Endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) have the potential to bring about medical repairs because of their post-natal angiogenic activities; however, such activities are impaired by high glucose- (HG) and the DM-associated conditions. Far-infrared radiation (FIR) transfers energy as heat that is perceived by the thermoreceptors in human skin. Several studies have revealed that FIR improves vascular endothelial functioning and boost angiogenesis. FIR has been used as anti-inflammatory therapy and as a clinical treatment for peripheral circulation improvement. In addition to vascular repair, there is increasing evidence to show that FIR can be applied to a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, hypertension and arthritis. Yet mechanism of action of FIR and the biomarkers that indicate FIR effects remain unclear. MicroRNA-134 (miR-134-5p) was identified by small RNA sequencing as being increased in high glucose (HG) treated dfECFCs (HG-dfECFCs). Highly expressed miR-134 was also validated in dmECFCs by RT-qPCR and it is associated with impaired angiogenic activities of ECFCs. The functioning of ECFCs is improved by FIR treatment and this occurs via a reduction in the level of miR-134 and an increase in the NRIP1 transcript, a direct target of miR-134. Using a mouse ischemic hindlimb model, the recovery of impaired blood flow in the presence of HG-dfECFCs was improved by FIR pretreatment and this enhanced functionality was decreased when there was miR-134 overexpression in the FIR pretreated HG-dfECFCs. In conclusion, our results reveal that the deregulation of miR-134 is involved in angiogenic defects found in DM patients. FIR treatment improves the angiogenic activity of HG-dfECFCs and dmECFCs and FIR has potential as a treatment for DM. Detection of miR-134 expression in FIR-treated ECFCs should help us to explore further the effectiveness of FIR therapy.

Stimulatory Influences of Far Infrared Therapy on the Transcriptome and Genetic Networks of Endothelial Progenitor Cells Receiving High Glucose Treatment. Acta Cardiol Sin. 2015 Sep;31(5):414-28.


    • Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a fundamental role in vascular repair and angiogenesis- related diseases. It is well-known that the process of angiogenesis is faulty in patients with diabetes. Long-term exposure of peripheral blood EPCs to high glucose (HG-EPCs) has been shown to impair cell proliferation and other functional competencies. Far infrared (FIR) therapy can promote ischemia-induced angiogenesis in diabetic mice and restore high glucose-suppressed endothelial progenitor cell functions both in vitro and in vivo. However, the detail mechanisms and global transcriptome alternations are still unclear.


    • METHODS:
    • In this study, we investigated the influences of FIR upon HG-EPC gene expressions. EPCs were obtained from the peripheral blood and treated with high glucose. These cells were then subjected to FIR irradiation and functional assays.


    • RESULTS:
    • Those genes responsible for fibroblast growth factors, Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription and prostaglandin signaling pathways were significantly induced in HG-EPCs after FIR treatment. On the other hand, mouse double minute 2 homolog, genes involved in glycogen metabolic process, and genes involved in cardiac fibrosis were down-regulated. We also observed complex genetic networks functioning in FIR-treated HG-EPCs, in which several genes, such as GATA binding protein 3, hairy and enhancer of split-1, Sprouty Homolog 2, MAPK and Sirtuin 1, acted as hubs to maintain the stability and connectivity of the whole geneticnetwork.


  • Deciphering FIR-affected genes will not only provide us with new knowledge regarding angiogenesis, but also help to develop new biomarkers for evaluating the effects of FIR therapy. Our findings may also be adapted to develop new methods to increase EPC activities for treating diabetes-related ischemia and metabolic syndrome-associated cardiovascular disorders.

Postconditioning with far-infrared irradiation increases hemeoxygenase-1 expression and protects against ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat testis. Life Sci. 2013 Jan 17;92(1):35-41.

    • AIMS:

    • Studies have shown that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has a protective role in the mechanism underlying hypoxic preconditioning. We used a far-infrared radiation (FIR) heater to investigate the postconditioning protective role of HO-1against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in rat testis.


    • Forty rats were used. Testis ischemia was mimicked by total obstructive clamping of testis vessels for 1,2, or 4 h, and concomitant postconditioning with 30 min FIR or heat light during initially 30 min reperfusion. HO-1 expressionand apoptosis of testis tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry and in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, respectively. HO-1 protein level and caspase-3 activity were analyzed by Western blotting.


    • There was less apoptotic activity in rat testis after FIR, as determined by TUNEL assay. Higher HO-1 protein expression was observed by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting (p<0.01) in testis cells after FIRpostconditioning. In contrast, caspase-3 activity was significantly higher in heat light groups, as compared with FIR groups (p<0.01).


  • FIR postconditioning attenuated I/R injury in rat testis by inducing HO-1 expression, which might have a protective role in testis apoptosis after I/R injury.

Far-infrared radiation promotes angiogenesis in human microvascular endothelial cells via extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. Photochem Photobiol. 2011 Mar-Apr;87(2):441-6.