Correlation between thermographic measurements and clinical score
Thermography is the technique of measuring natural thermal radiation from body tissues of clinical interest. It is safe, requires no control of environmental conditions and non invasive. Our study was designed to evaluate a physiological parameter, joint surface temperature, measured with computerized digital infrared thermal imaging, and its association with stages of clinical scores in a rat collagen induced arthritis model. Arthritis was induced with collagen immunization in eight Lewis rats. Four of the animals were treated with dexamethasone as a negative control. Disease progression was monitored by paw edema and body weight. On the basis of paw edema a clinical score was given each paw of the animals involved in the study. The mean temperature of a region covering the metatarsal joint was compared with a reference area on the back of the same rat. The temperature ratios were compared with the clinical score. The mean joint temperature increased with increasing clinical severity in the acute stage of the disease and there was a correlation between temperature ratio and clinical scores. Joints were warmer at higher score and lower in normal score. The preliminary data indicates that thermography may be a potent supplemental clinical parameter in the evaluation of the severity of the arthritis in the acute stage and further investigations are underway to evaluate the thermographic assessment of the disease progress and response to therapeutic intervention.
Arthritis, Experimental, Thermography, Animal model
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New Paradigms in Laboratory Animal Science, Novel innovations for research applications: A Joint FELASA/Scand-LAS Symposium, 2010