Continuous-mode 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency induces greater deep blood flow changes compared to pulsed mode shortwave: a crossover study in healthy adults
Aims: Radiofrequency-based electrophysical agents (EPAs) have been used in therapy practice over several decades (e.g. shortwave therapies). Currently, there is insufficient evidence supporting such EPAs operating below shortwave frequencies. This laboratory-based study investigated the deep physiological effects of 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency (CRMRF) and compared them to pulsed shortwave therapy (PSWT). Methods: In a randomized crossover study, 17 healthy volunteers initially received four treatment conditions: high, low and placebo dose conditions receiving 15-min CRMRF treatment and a control condition receiving no intervention. Fifteen participants additionally received high-dose PSWT as fifth condition, for comparison. Pre- and post-treatment measurements of deep blood flow and tissue extensibility were obtained using Doppler ultrasound and sonoelastography. Group data were compared using analysis of variance model. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ .05, 0.8 power, and 95% confidence interval. Results: Significant increases in volume and intensity of deep blood flow were obtained with CRMRF over placebo, control (p = .003) and PSWT (p < .001). No significant changes in blood flow velocity or tissue extensibility were noted for any condition. Conclusions: Deep blood flow changes with CRMRF were more pronounced than that with PSWT, placebo or control. Potential greater therapeutic benefits need to be confirmed with comparative clinical studies.