Thermography is also known as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI)
Medical DITI is a noninvasive adjunctive diagnostic technique that allows the examiner to visualize and quantify changes in skin surface temperature. An infrared scanning device is used to convert infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulse that are visualized in colour on a monitor. This visual image graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram. The spectrum of colours indicate an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body surface. Since there is a high degree of thermal symmetry in the normal body, subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries can be easily identified.
Medical DITI's major clinical value is in it's high sensitivity to pathology in the vascular, muscular, neural and skeletal systems and, as such, can contribute to the pathogenesis and diagnosis made by the Reading Doctor.
Medical DITI has been used extensively in human medicine in the U.S.A., Europe and Asia for the past 20 years. Until now, cumbersome equipment has hampered its diagnostic and economic viability. Current state of the art PC based IR technology designed specifically for clinical application has changed all this.
Clinical uses for DITI include;
Defining the extent of a lesion of which a diagnosis has previously been made
Localizing an abnormal area not previously identified, so further diagnostic tests can be performed
Detecting early lesions before they are clinically evident
Monitoring the healing process before the patient is returned to work or training
Skin blood flow is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system. In normal people there is a symmetrical dermal pattern which is consistent and reproducible for any individual. This is recorded in precise detail with a temperature sensitivity of 0.01°C by DITI. The neuro-thermography application of DITI measures the somatic component of the sympathetic nervous system by assessing dermal blood flow. The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated at the same anatomical location as its sensory counterpart and produces a 'somato sympathetic response'. The somato sympathetic response appears on DITI as a localized area of altered temperature with specific features for each anatomical lesion.
The mean temperature differential in peripheral nerve injury is 1.5°C. In sympathetic dysfunction's (RSD / SMP / CRPS) temperature differentials ranging from 1° C to 10° C, depending on severity, are not uncommon. Rheumatological processes generally appear as 'hot areas' with increased temperature patterns. The pathology is generally an inflammatory process, i.e. synovitis of joints and tendon sheaths, epicondylitis, capsular and muscle injuries, etc. Both hot and cold responses may co exist if the pain associated with an inflammatory focus excites an increase in sympathetic activity. Vascular conditions are readily demonstrated by DITI including Raynauds, Vasculitis, Limb Ischemia, DVT, etc. Medical DITI is filling the gap in clinical diagnosis ...
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