Midwest Equine

Feature Article

Digital Thermal Imaging: See Clearly What Your Patients Can't Tell You

By Jennifer F. Johnson VMD, CVPP │ John C. Godbold, Jr., DVM │ Ronald J. Reigel, DVM

Article Archives LinkDigital Thermal Imaging

Digital Thermal Imaging

Digital thermal imaging (DTI) creates a visual image of the thermal energy being emitted by a patient. Differences in temperature at the skin surface are due to physiological differences in the underlying tissue and are a result of increased or decreased blood flow in the tissue.

"Digital Thermal Imaging should become a tool you use in daily practice; similar to the current use of your stethoscope."
- Dr. Ronald J. Riegel DVM Digital Medical Director, Digitherm

Interpretation of digital thermal images relies on the premise that each patient has a distinct thermal gradient pattern related to their body’s physiology. Furthermore, the bilateral symmetry of the body allows one to interpret change in temperature between contralateral body areas to be a sign of potential pathology. In this way, the body acts as its own control, allowing visual (qualitative) and temperature change (quantitative) analysis of the physiological status of the patient. Consensus in the literature suggests any change greater than 1 C in at least 20 percent of the area of interest is significant asymmetry of the thermal gradient and warrants further exploration.1

The use of DTI in veterinary medicine is becoming more prevalent, as clinicians find it to be a valuable and practical tool for patient examination.2,3 It allows the practitioner a more thorough understanding of the current status of the patient, early detection of many disorders, a means to objectively monitor any treatment protocol, and a visual client education tool. This technological advancement has opened the door to better care for each patient.

Digitherm was founded by Dr. Ronald Riegel, Patricia Robertson, and Joseph Elias. The company consists of veterinarians, including an advisory board of experts, professional representatives familiar with infrared thermography, support staff, and a staffed customer care center.

Digitherm is committed to providing the most technologically advanced IR system available to the veterinary medical field, while continually supporting daily utilization needs.

REFERENCES 1 -Wasner, G. et al. (2002) Skin temperature side differences—a diagnostic tool for CRPS? Pain. 98 (1-2): 19-26
2 -Rekant, Sl. Et al. (2016) Veterinary applications of infrared thermography. Am J Vet Res. 77(1):98-107
3 -Redaelli, V. et al. (2014) Use of thermographic imaging in clinical diagnosis of small animal: preliminary notes. Ann lst Super Sanita. 50(2):140-146.

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