Functional Diagnostics

Thermography – breakthrough method to monitor inflammations

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Thermography Scan in Cyprus – noninvasive functional imaging method, harmless, passive, fast, low cost, and sensitive.

WHAT IS THERMOGRAPHY/THERMAL IMAGING?

Thermal imaging cameras are devices that translate thermal energy (heat) into visible light in order to analyze a particular object. The image produce is what we call a thermogram and is analyzed through the process of thermography. Such an image can be used for immediate diagnosis. Is not as simple as temperature measurement. It takes it a step further. Instead of just getting a number for the temperature it gives a picture showing the differences in temperature throughout the human body.

THERMOGRAPHY TEST

Is a test that uses an infrared camera to detect heat patterns and blood flow in body tissues. In other words, is a graphic representation of temperature. Is non-invasive and can detect infrared radiation. Infrared emission can be directly correlated to blood flow.

APPLICATION OF THERMOGRAPHY

Originally thermography was developed for military purposes up to 1958 was used to spy upon enemies – the humans appeared red on the camera due to the warmth of the human body and the camera was able to spot men even in the dark.  Also, firefighters use infrared cameras to detect smoke, spot people, and identify sources of fire. Nowadays, researchers around the world are using infrared (IR) cameras to capture and record temperature variations for medical diagnostic purposes. By analyzing the images, information on metabolic and vascular activity is shown and allows the physician to recognize abnormal changes in physiology. The human body is self-generating and regulating the levels of temperature for survival; we humans add or decrease clothing according to nature’s temperature. That is because the inside of our body is a relatively stable temperature but the skin changes according to the atmospheric temperature. Any changes of the core, internal body temperature above or below the normal ranges suggest an abnormality.  To give a simple example, in the acute inflammation period, blood flow increases, therefore, the temperature of the body increases too, that signals on the thermographic camera and allows the doctor to simply identify immediately, without the need of blood tests, the source of the inflammation and treat accordingly. Moreover, a study showed that in chronic stages, the fibrous adhesion, degeneration, and proliferation of tissue fibers, changes the focal area from hyperemia to ischemia, and infrared thermography showed hypothermia.

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In other words, thermal imaging is used to study a broad number of diseases where skin temperature can reflect the presence of inflammation in underlying tissues or where blood flow is increased or decreased due to a clinical irregularity.  One of the basic indications and clinical usages of thermography is the documentation of soft tissue. Currently, many physicians employ thermal imaging cameras to detect a number of medical conditions, such as arthritis, repetitive strain injury, muscular pain, and circulatory problems. 

Medical applications of thermography include neuropathic pain diseases, tissue inflammations, post-stroke abnormalities, spinal cord injuries, rheumatologic disorders, sports injuries, poor extremity vascular perfusion, low back pain causes, and vasomotor changes related to chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome.

Doctor Yuri Nikolenko, MD, PhD

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