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Infrared Thermography: Current Applications in Equine Medicine
- Soroko, Maria, Howell, Kevin
- Journal of equine veterinary science 2018 v.60 pp. 90-96.e2
- diagnostic techniques, drug therapy, horses, image analysis, inflammation, medicine, nervous system diseases, surface temperature, thermography, veterinary medicine
- Infrared thermography is an imaging technique, mapping body surface temperature changes which may indicate inflammatory, vascular, or neurological disorders. The proper use of thermography to evaluate surface thermal patterns requires a controlled environment and rigorous adherence to an imaging protocol to eliminate errors of interpretation. Thermography plays an important role as a complementary diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine, indicating any areas of abnormality and suggesting where to concentrate further diagnostic imaging or treatment. During the healing process, it can quantify the regression of inflammation or monitor the efficacy of anti-inflammatory medication. However, the specificity and sensitivity of thermography can be limited for many applications, and it is therefore most valuable as an adjunct to other modalities and should always be performed under veterinary guidance. More research is required to confirm the reproducibility of the technique, especially during long-term follow-up. This review considers the evidence for the utility of thermography in equine medicine practice and presents its current advantages and limitations.