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Översiktsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine in Sport and Companion Animals: Therapeutic Ultrasound

Bostrom, Anna; Asplund, Kjell; Bergh, Anna; Hyytiainen, Heli


Simple Summary Therapeutic ultrasound (TU) is used in sport and companion animals to treat diseases and injuries affecting tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and bones. Usually, there are 2-6 treatment sessions weekly for up to 4 weeks. The scientific evidence for the treatment has been questioned. We have therefore performed a systemic review of the scientific literature on TU used in dogs, horses, donkeys, and cats. The review shows that there is insufficient scientific evidence for favourable effects in conditions affecting tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints in these species. The studies have been few and most of them involve only a small number of animals. Many studies also have methodological problems with compromised study quality. When beneficial results are reported, they have not been repeated in independent studies. Favourable effects on bone healing have, however, been reported in experiments where bone fractures have been created surgically in dogs. There is also scientific evidence that TU treatment of testicles in dogs and cats arrests the production of sperm, indicating that it may be used for contraception. The favourable effects on bone healing and the conceptive effects need to be confirmed in high-quality clinical trials. Background: To explore the scientific evidence for therapeutic ultrasound (TU), we conducted a systematic review of the literature on TU in dogs, horses, donkeys, and cats. Methods: In three major databases, relevant articles published in 1980-2020 were identified. The risk of bias in each article was evaluated. Results: Twenty-four relevant articles on the effects of TU in dogs, nine in horses, two in donkeys, and one in cats were identified. TU usually involved 2-6 treatments weekly for up to 4 weeks. Articles on tendon, ligament, and bone healing, acute aseptic arthritis, osteoarthritis, paraparesis, hindquarter weakness, and back muscle pain were identified. In experimental bone lesions in dogs, there is moderate scientific evidence for enhanced healing. For the treatment of other musculoskeletal conditions, the scientific evidence is insufficient due to the high risk of bias. There is substantial evidence that continuous TU increases tissue temperature in muscles and tendons by up to 5 degrees C in healthy animals. For disorders in tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints in sport and companion animals, there is insufficient evidence for the clinical effects of TU.


therapeutic ultrasound; veterinary medicine; complementary and alternative veterinary medicine; companion animal; sports animal; dog; horse; donkey; cat; musculosketetal disorder; bone healing; contraception

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2022, Volym: 12, nummer: 22, artikelnummer: 3144
Utgivare: MDPI

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