Thermography provides a picture of the body’s infrared emission. This is, essentially, a mapping of temperature.
Thermography is non-contact and non-invasive. Temperatures are measured at the skin with an infrared detector (camera). The skin temperature is a reflection of underlying controls. Blood flow measurement is the indirect information provided by infrared emissions.
Interpretation of the thermogram is based on the thermal gradient – temperature difference – in a region or comparative to the other side of the body in the same region of interest. The thermograph is individual, therefore not compared to a general ‘norm’ but a comparison over time to itself.
Various diseases can change the skin temperature. Information provided by the patient is used with the thermal map to determine the level of balance or significance of any asymmetry.
Thermography is a popular test to monitor breast health, pain problems and the effectiveness of treatment. It adds additional information to other diagnostic tools (x-ray, mammography, ultrasound, MRI,CT and blood tests) to improve efficacy of detection.