Article

Thermographic diagnostics in equine back pain.

Equine Veterinary Clinic, Greyfriars Farm, Puttenham, Guildford, Surrey, England.
Veterinary Clinics of North America Equine Practice (Impact Factor: 1.63). 05/1999; 15(1):161-77, viii.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Infrared thermographic imaging (ITI) is the most sensitive objective imaging currently available for the detection of back disease in horses. It is, however, only a physiological study primarily of vasomotor tone overlying other superficial tissue factors. Interpretation requires extreme care in imaging protocol and in understanding the significance of altered sympathetic nervous tone and the sympathetic distribution. Most discussions on back pain have centered on nociception and inflammatory events. ITI provides information and localization for more significant than diagnosing areas of hot spots. Chronic back pain usually involves vasoconstriction at the affected sites and from ITI studies in man, we have an opportunity to appreciate chronic pain phenomena that involves non-inflammatory events. These occur commonly in horses, but are still seldom recognized and treated.

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    Equine Veterinary Journal 11/2012; · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infrared thermography (IRT) was used to assess surface temperature change as an indirect measure of muscle activity and exercise associated changes in blood flow in the working hind limb muscles of horses (n=7) undergoing water treadmill exercise. Three treatments were investigated including the treadmill ran dry (TD), water at the height of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) and water at the height of the carpus (CP). Maximum skin surface temperature was recorded from the region of the semitendinosus muscle during exercise at each water height. There was a significant difference in surface hind limb temperature between exercise on the water treadmill ran dry and with water at the height of the PIP and CP (p<0.0001) with hotter temperatures recorded during the TD treatment. There was a greater increase in surface temperature of the hind limbs from pre exercise to maximum temperature during the PIP and CP treatments when compared to the TD treatment, however, this was not significant (p=0.58). There was no significant difference in surface hind limb temperature found between exercise in water at the height of the PIP and water at the height of the CP. The findings from this study suggest that IRT is able to non-invasively detect muscle activity and associated changes in blood flow whilst horses are exercised on a water treadmill. IRT could potentially be used as an alternative method to assess muscle activity and temperature change in an aquatic environment where existing methods present methodological challenges.
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