PMID: 18791308Jan 1, 1989Paper

Method for quantifying assessment of contact thermography: effect of extremity dominance on temperature distribution patterns

The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
M T GrossS H Sullivan


This research was supported in part by a Junior Faculty Research Grant from the Department of Medical Allied Health Professions, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill. NC. The purposes of this project were to evaluate the reliability of a method for quantitative assessment of contact thermograms; and to test the null hypotheses of no difference in temperature distribution patterns between dominant and nondominant patellar tendon sites and between dominant and nondominant common wrist extensor tendon sites. Both tendon sites were evaluated for 17 normal subjects using contact thermography. A mean temperature was calculated over each tendon site in each subject. Inter-rater reliability for eight pairs of mean temperature calculations by two investigators was r = 0.88. Paired t-tests indicated no statistically significant difference (alpha = 0.05) between dominant and nondominant extremities for either of the tendon sites. The method of thermogram analysis presented in this paper can be used reliably to quantify the assessment of contact thermograms. Clinicians who detect temperature asymmetry at either of the two tendon sites analyzed should attribute this asymmetry to unilateral pathology and not to differ...Continue Reading


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