J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg.  2002 Feb;28(1):53-60.

Diagnostic Efficacy Of Diti (Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging) For The Dysesthesia Of The Lower Lip & Chin

  • 1Department of Medicine, The Graduate School of Ewha Womans University, Korea. myungrae@mm.ewha.ac.kr


Neurosensory dysfunction of the injured inferior alveolarnerve(IAN) is a common and distrssing consequence of traumatic or iatrogenic injury. Conventional neurosensory testing has been used to detect and monitor sensory impairments of the injured IAN. However, these tests had low reliability and are not qualitative at best because they are based on solely on the patient's subjective assesment of symptoms. Consequently, there is need for more reliable, sensitive, and objective test measures to document and to monitor sensory dysfunction of the trigeminal nerve. This study was to investigate DITI's (digital infrared thermographic imaging) potential as a diagnostic alternative for evaluating of the nerve injures and sensory disturbance. Subjects were 30 patients who had been referred to Ewha Medical Center due to sensory disturbance of the lower lip and chin followed after unobserved inferior alveolar nerve injuries. The patients were examined by clinical neurosensory tests as SLTD (static light touch discrimination), MDD (moving direction discrimination), PPN (pin prick nociception) and DITI (digital infrared thermographic imaging). The correlation between clinical sensory dysfunction scores(Sum of SLTD, MDD, PPN, NP, Tinel sign) and DITI were tested by Spearman nonparametric rank correlation anaylsis & Kruskal-Wallis test, Wilcoxon 2-sample test. This study resulted in as follows; 1) The difference of thermal difference between normal side and affected side was as delta-3.2+/-0.13. 2) The DITI differences of the subjects presenting dysesthesia of the lip and chin were correlated significantly with the neurosensory dysfunction scores(r=0.419, p=0.021)and SLTD (r=0.429, p < 0.05). 3) The MDD, PPN, NP, Tinel sign, duration, gender were not correlated with DITI(p > 0.05). Therefore, the DITI(digital infrared thermographic imaging) can be an option of the useful objective diagnostic methods to evaluate the injured inferior alveolar nerve and sensory dysfunction of trigerminal nerve.


sensory dysfunction; thermographic imaging

MeSH Terms

Mandibular Nerve
Trigeminal Nerve
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