The present studies were designed to evaluate the effects of pulsed Nd:YAG laser light on neural impulse conduction and axoplasmic transport in sensory nerves in rats and cats. Our data indicate that Q-switched Nd:YAG laser irradiation can induce a preferential impairment of (1) the synaptic effects of small afferent fibers on dorsal horn cells in the spinal cord and of (2) small slow conducting sensory nerve fibers in dorsal roots and peripheral nerves. These results imply that laser light might have selective effects on impulse conduction in slow conducting sensory nerve fibers. In agreement with our electrophysiological observations recent histological data from our laboratory show, that axonal transport of the enzyme herseradish peroxidase is selectively impaired in small sensory nerve fibers. These data indicate, that Q-switched Nd:YAG laser irradiation can selectively impair neural conduction and axoplasmic transport in small sensory nerve fibers as compared to fast conducting fibers. A selective influence of laser irradiation on slow conducting fibers could have important clinical applications, especially for the treatment of chronic pain.