Thermography and diagnosis of appendicitis
Acute appendicitis is a life-threatening pathology that requires urgent surgical intervention (Ferris, M., et al., 2017). This diagnosis remains challenging because its clinical presentation can be atypical and symptoms often overlap with other conditions that may or may not need surgical treatment (Ramirez-GarciaLuna, J. L., et al. 2020).
Recently, a study (Ramirez-GarciaLuna, J. L., et al. 2020) has evaluated skin infrared thermal imaging as a diagnostic adjunct for acute appendicitis in adults. For this purpose, they analyzed 51 patients with appendicitis, 20 with abdominal pain (no appendicitis) and 51 healthy controls.
They identified that abdominal region temperature <34°C discriminate healthy controls and patients with acute abdomen pain. Among this last group, a thermal asymmetry of the right abdominal region vs left abdominal region >0.35°C discriminate patients with and without appendicitis These results support that infrared thermography could be an adjunct tool in the diagnosis of appendicitis in locations with limited resources.
Ramirez-GarciaLuna, J. L., Vera-Bañuelos, L. R., Guevara-Torres, L., Martínez-Jiménez, M. A., Ortiz-Dosal, A., Gonzalez, F. J., & Kolosovas-Machuca, E. S. (2020). Infrared thermography of abdominal wall in acute appendicitis: Proof of concept study. Infrared Physics & Technology, 105, 103165.
Ferris, M., Quan, S., Kaplan, B. S., Molodecky, N., Ball, C. G., Chernoff, G. W., … & Kaplan, G. G. (2017). The global incidence of appendicitis: a systematic review of population-based studies. Annals of surgery, 266(2), 237-241.