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Thermovision: a new diagnostic method for orofacial pain?

Authors Fricova J, Janatova M, Anders M, Albrecht J, Rokyta R

Received 8 August 2018

Accepted for publication 25 October 2018

Published 13 December 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 3195—3203

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S183096

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman


Jitka Fricova,1,2 Marketa Janatova,3 Martin Anders,4 Jakub Albrecht,4 Richard Rokyta2

1Charles University, 1st Faculty of Medicine, General University Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine, Pain Management Center, Prague, Czech Republic; 2Charles University, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Department of Normal, Pathological and Clinical Physiology, Prague, Czech Republic; 3Charles University, 1st Faculty of Medicine, General University Hospital, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic; 4Charles University, 1st Faculty of Medicine, General University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Prague, Czech Republic

Background: Infrared thermography can be used to obtain more complete information about a patient’s condition. The method can be used in various medical applications for monitoring acute and chronic orofacial pain syndrome. With this diagnostic method, thermal differences in the examined region are usually compared to the same reference region on the opposite side of the body.
Methods: Infrared quantitative thermography is a non-invasive method for contactless monitoring of dynamic thermal fields on a surface, or in this case, the human body. This method is based on detection of infrared radiation, which is naturally emitted from the surface of the body. In a pilot project with a patient having orofacial pain, changes before and after repetitive transcranial magnetic brain stimulation treatment were assessed.
Results: First-day measurements found significantly higher maximum, minimum, and average temperatures, before and after therapy, in the area where the patient subjectively reported pain. The fifth and final measurements, before and after therapy, found only a slight elevation of the maximum temperature of the assessed regions, relative to the same regions on the opposite side of the face.
Conclusion: During the measurements on the fifth day, a thermal difference greater than 0.4°C was only observed relative to the minimum temperatures associated with the regions of self-reported pain before and after therapy. For validation of the effects, this method will need to be tested using a randomized, double-blind study with a larger number of patients.

Keywords: orofacial pain, thermovision, infrared thermography, transcranial stimulation

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