A new study published recently highlights that thermal images they have great potential to become an important method to evaluate rheumatoid arthritis. In this sense, the results of the study that Nature has made known and in which 82 patients have participated, confirm that the patients who suffer from this symptomatology perceive how the temperature in both palms of his hands and fingers.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were examined during the investigation by two rheumatologists, the main author of the report, Dr. Alfred Gatt, from the University of Malta and a visiting member of the University of Staffordshire. He confirmed that they used "the Flir T630 thermal camera" and that they followed "the guidelines of the American Association of Thermology". In addition, of the 82 patients who were analyzed, a subset of them underwent a diagnostic ultrasound performed by a rheumatologist to ensure that participants they will not show active signs of synovitis in his hands and wrists.
The key is in the temperature
The results of the study show that the two probability curves intersect at 31.5 degrees, in the case of the temperature of the palm of the hand, so that people whose mercury is below that level are more likely to stay healthy. In the case of the opposite situation, in which the temperature exceeds this level, the patients will be more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, in the case of finger temperature, the situation is similar, since the two probability curves intersect at 30.3 degrees.
The ultrasound performed in the study did not reflect any significant change in the patients, while the thermography did show a possible disease process in progress to detect higher temperatures. According to the researchers, the difference in mercury "can be attributed to the underlying disease activity subclinical or that the original inflammatory process may cause irreversible thermal changes that persist after the disease activity has resolved. "
Timely detection of synovitis is vitally important to help control the disease.
While it is true that they confirm that they need "more studies to corroborate this", they also speak of thermal imaging as an "emerging technology within medicine" that "has the potential to become an important clinical tool since the disease processes can vary the magnitude and pattern of heat emitted in a person with rheumatoid arthritis. "
A global opportunity
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that it can affect the citizens of the entire planet and it is estimated that in Spain alone it has more than 200,000 sick adults, who may suffer from deformities, disability or cardiovascular problems. Therefore, a time detection of synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis it's of vital importance to help allow effective control of the disease, although, to do so, they must continue to work, since scientists claim that this disease "can be difficult to diagnose."
This was just him first study that explored the patterns thermographic of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared them with healthy controls, so researchers have to continue taking steps to draw an effective and binding conclusion to medical standards. But the reality is that the first step is taken and the results have clearly demonstrated that a hand with rheumatoid arthritis without active synovitis (the medical term for inflammation of the synovial membrane) exhibit higher temperatures compared to healthy individuals.