Thermographic diagnosis in equine back pain

Equine Veterinary Clinic, Greyfriars Farm, Puttenham, Guildford, Surrey, England.
Veterinary Clinics of North America Equine Practice (Impact Factor: 0.44). 05/1999; 15(1):161-77, viii.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Thermographic imaging (also known as thermography, infrared thermography, and infrared imaging) can be used to measure superficial temperature changes in the body [9]. Compared to other commonly used diagnostic methods, thermographic imaging is a noninvasive and safe method of detecting and visualizing changes in superficial temperature in animals [10–14]. A change in superficial temperature due to changes in peripheral blood flow can be measured feasibly with thermography [9]. "
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    • "Thermographic imaging The assumption when using thermographic imaging is that pain is going to be associated with an increase in temperature because of an inflammatory response or that there is going to be a decrease in temperature because of chronic changes in autonomic tone or scarring. Thermographic imaging has been useful for the localization of limb pain and has also been useful for analysis of back pain [37] [79] "
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