Dynamic thermography, a non-invasive method for targeted evaluation of body surface temperature verified by cold gel stress test

Jari Karhu, Marko Kaarre, Roope Lasanen, Olli Airaksinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background: Thermography is a well-known non-invasive method for evaluation of body surface temperature. The potential for study and diagnostics of painful conditions - essentially everything related to inflammation or change in blood flow - is evident. Aim: To determine the accuracy and dynamic capacity of a novel medical thermal imaging system during cold gel stress test. Methods: We recorded surface temperature of right vastus lateralis -muscle in 6 healthy adults with 8 thermal sensors taped to the border and 2 to the center of a 6 x 12 cm area.6 sensors were applied to outside areas and to the left leg.Temperature was imaged simultaneously from distance of 60 cm once every minute (3 s epochs, sampling frequency of 25 Hz) with a novel thermal system (Thermidas Ltd., Finland) before and during cooling the area with a standard amount of cold gel (IcePower, Finland) applied to the skin. Results: Highly significant cooling of gel area up to 4 C from surrounding areas was clear in all subjects. The relative dynamic change of temperature during 0-60 min with observation accuracy of 0.02 degrees was similar within 95% confidence limits both in surface sensors inside the gel area and in the corresponding area of thermal images with no calibration procedures during recordings. Conclusions: The recent advances in thermal imaging provide robust tools for static and dynamic imaging of human surface temperature. The method may prove useful both in scientific and clinical study of pain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPain Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event6th World Congress‐World Institute of Pain, WIP 2012
- Miami Beach, United States
Duration: 4 Feb 20126 Feb 2012



  • Infrared thermography
  • skin temperature
  • cold gel

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