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Evaluating asymmetrical thermal distributions through image processing

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7 Author(s)
Mabuchi, K. ; Center for Collaborative Res., Tokyo Univ., Japan ; Chinzei, T. ; Fujimasa, I. ; Haeno, S.
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In order to use thermography for clinical diagnosis, it is necessary to determine the location of the abnormal thermal areas as well as the degree of the change in body-surface temperature. This necessitates an evaluation of the distribution of the deviation in skin temperature from a standard skin-temperature distribution of the healthy subject. However, there is no standard distribution of the body-surface temperature of a healthy subject because it is affected by so many factors, such as the ambient and internal thermal conditions, age, sex, body weight, etc. Further, it also differs widely with individuals. One of the best ways to eliminate this variability, and to detect and evaluate the change in the body-surface temperature, is to measure the body-surface temperature of each thermograph pixel in the affected area and subtract from it the body-surface temperature of the corresponding pixel in the symmetrically located contralateral healthy area. The aim of this study is to develop a program for a computerized thermographic system that will produce images of the distribution of temperature differences between the affected side and the contralateral healthy side, and also to investigate the feasibility of the program in a clinical setting.

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Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )