Application of Infrared Thermography as a Diagnostic Tool of Knee Osteoarthritis

Abstract : This paper aimed to study the feasibility of application of infrared thermography to detect osteoarthritis of the knee and to compare the distribution of skin temperature between participants with osteoarthritis and those without pathology. All tests were conducted at LACM (Laboratory of Mechanical Stresses Analysis) and the gymnasium of the University of Reims Champagne Ardennes. IR thermography was performed using an IR camera. Ten participants with knee osteoarthritis and 12 reference healthy participants without OA participated in this study. Questionnaires were also used. The participants with osteoarthritis of the knee were selected on clinical examination and a series of radiographs. The level of pain was recorded by using a simple verbal scale (0-4). Infrared thermography reveals relevant disease by highlighting asymmetrical behavior in thermal color maps of both knees. Moreover, a linear evolution of skin temperature in the knee area versus time has been found whatever the participant group is in the first stage following a given effort. Results clearly show that the temperature can be regarded as a key parameter for evaluating pain. Thermal images of the knee were taken with an infrared camera. The study shows that with the advantage of being noninvasive and easily repeatable, IRT appears to be a useful tool to detect quantifiable patterns of surface temperatures and predict the singular thermal behavior of this pathology. It also seems that this non-intrusive technique enables to detect the early clinical manifestations of knee OA.
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Ahlem Arfaoui, Mohamed Amine Bouzid, Hervé Pron, Redha Taiar, Guillaume Polidori. Application of Infrared Thermography as a Diagnostic Tool of Knee Osteoarthritis. Journal of Thermal Science and Technology, The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers and The Heat Transfer Society of Japan 2012, 7 (1), pp.227-235. ⟨10.1299/jtst.7.227⟩. ⟨hal-02310790⟩

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