Meta-analysis of repeated low-level red light therapy for retarding myopia progression in children

Authors: Zhang Hongmei,  Zhu Yun,  Liu Shengxin,  Li Bingqin,  Wei Ruihua
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20221003-00466
Published 2023-04-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2023, 41(4): 357-365.

Abstract                              [Download PDF] [Read Full Text]


To systematically evaluate the effect of repeated low-level red light (RLRL) therapy on controlling the progression of myopia in children.


Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and the CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database, and Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ( were searched from their establishment to September 2022 to obtain the randomized controlled trial (RCT) about RLRL controlling myopia progression in children.Grey literature was also searched.Inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed according to the PICOS principle.Two researchers screened the literature independently, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias in the included studies using the Cochrane collaboration tool for assessing risk of bias.The data were imported into RevMan 5.4 software for meta-analysis.Mean and standard deviation of data were used to obtain mean differences and 95% confidence intervals of included studies.Changes in spherical equivalent (SE) and axial length (AL) were compared between before and after the intervention in RLRL and single-vision spectacle (experimental group) and single-vision spectacle (control group). The GRADE system was used to grade the quality of evidence for the outcome indicators.


A total of 157 studies were obtained.After the screening, 7 RCT studies including 1 038 study subjects met the inclusion criteria.Meta-analysis results showed that retarded SE progression was retarded and AL elongation was reduced significantly after different follow-up durations (1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months) in experimental group compared with control group.As the follow-up duration extended from 1 month to 24 months, the retard of SE progression increased from 0.14 to 0.93 D, and the reduction of AL increased from 0.07 to 0.48 mm.Both 635 and 650 nm red light significantly retarded SE progression and reduced AL elongation.The two outcome indicators, SE change and AL change were moderate-strength evidence by GRADE.


The current moderate-strength evidence shows that RLRL can better retard myopia progression in children than single-vision spectacle glasses.

Key words:

Myopia; Children; Prevention and control; Repeated low-level red light; Refraction, ocular; Axial length; Meta-analysis

Contributor Information

Zhang Hongmei

Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

Zhu Yun

School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300070, China

Liu Shengxin

School of Management, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301617, China

Li Bingqin

Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

Wei Ruihua

Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

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