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Infrared thermal imaging as a new non-invasive point of care tool for assessing heartworm lymphedema

A camera installed to take images of the participants’ lower limbs. Credit: Louise Kelly-Hope

Researchers at the Neglected Tropical Diseases Center (CNTD) at LSTM use infrared thermal imaging cameras to detect asymptomatic cases and predict the progression of lymphatic filariasis in Bangladesh.

Papers published in Clinical Medical Journal Shows the results of studies examining the use of infrared Thermal image Camera as a new non-invasive point of care tool for the lower extremities of lymphatic filariasis Lymphedema..

Thermal imaging has been used in various medical fields for decades, but this is the first time it has been used for heartworm and neglected tropical diseases (NTD).

Dr. Louise Kelly Hope of LSTM led the study. She states: “Infrared thermal imaging presents an innovative and objective way to quantify clinical changes in heartworm lymphedema status using spontaneous emission. Infrared radiation Captures skin surface temperature. This tool is useful for objectively monitoring disease progression and detecting new subclinical cases in the field. “

In 2019, the LSTM team first attempted to use thermal images in Malawi with the Lymphatic filariasis eradication program team using the FLIR iPhone thermal camera.

This helped in multilateral design Prospective cohort study Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Malawi use rugged and compact FLIR C3 thermal cameras. The camera is currently in progress and involves approximately 750 people affected by lymphatic filariasis. This study aims to assess the impact of enhanced self-care morbidity management protocols on patients with mild, moderate, and severe lymphedema.

This paper presents the results of the first baseline survey of 153 people affected by lymphedema in Bangladesh in October 2020.

  • The images show a clear significant difference depending on the severity of lymphedema. This helps to “see” the “invisible” and emphasizes that the “affected legs” are hotter, especially in people with more severe conditions associated with inflammation, injury, and illness. I will. Progress.
  • It also helps show how affected the limbs are. People with mild conditions tend to get hot in selected areas of the limbs, Strict conditions Had a high temperature affecting most of their limbs
  • Temperature data showed significantly higher limb temperatures in people suffering from a secondary bacterial infection known as “acute cutaneous lymphadenitis” (ADLA) or acute attack.

The team said this new tool will detect asymptomatic cases, predict disease progression, and enhance care packages and staging after enhanced care packages or other interventions for people affected by lymphedema. I feel that it has great potential to be used by field researchers and local healthcare professionals to monitor the severity of the disease.

Professor Mark Taylor, director of CNTD at LSTM, said: “I think Louise’s study provided an important new tool to improve the treatment of this catastrophic tropical disease. A study of filamentous lymphedema in an affordable and usable form. Show the patient himself. To be able to, the improvements obtained with enhanced care packages and other interventions will greatly help relieve the physical and psychological distress of people affected by filamentous lymphedema.


Patients with elephantiasis who are more likely to have depression


For more information:
Louise A. Kelly-Hope et al, Infrared thermal imaging as a new non-invasive point of care tool for assessing filariasis lymphedema, Clinical Medical Journal (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / jcm10112301

Quote: Infrared thermography (May 26, 2021) as a new non-invasive point of care tool for assessing heartworm lymphedema is available at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-infrared-thermal- Obtained from imaging on May 26, 2021. -Non-invasive-point-of-care.html

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Infrared thermal imaging as a new non-invasive point of care tool for assessing heartworm lymphedema

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