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Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.34 - 2013
ARTICLE – abstract

The use of infrared thermography for investigating abarticular rheumatism

Momanu Alina
Fiziomedica Medical Center, Iasi, Romania


Objective. Infrared thermography is a noninvasive physiological test which in 1990 was recognized as a diagnosis tool by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The method is based on the identification and quantification of cutaneous thermal asymmetries. Several studies have been conducted so far, which showed thermographic variations in some soft tissue diseases, but could not reveal abnormal thermograms in one of the most common abarticular rheumatic disease – shoulder periarthritis. The purpose of this study was to emphasize the periarticular soft tissue disorders by digital infrared imaging, an infrared camera using the latest generation of high resolution infrared sensor.
Material and methods. The study population was divided into two groups: a group of 81 patients with soft tissue disease and a control group (of similar size and demographic structure) composed of persons without pain at the sites of interest studied (shoulder, elbow, fist, hip, knee, Achilles tendon). The areas examined were the “regions of interest” for the various soft tissue disorders.
Results. In all the subgroups studied the temperature difference between the affected region and the opposite side was higher than in the control group, the difference being statistically significant.
Conclusions. Digital infrared imaging is a useful noninvasive, non-radiating, harmless and quick tool for investigating the inflammatory conditions of soft periarticular tissues.

Key words:

digital infrared imaging, epicondylitis, tendonitis, periarthritis, bursitis

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