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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 1998 Feb;27(2):237-245. Korean. Original Article.
Cho YE , Kim YS , Zhang HY .
Spine Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Localization of the specific symptomatic level in multiple lumbar disc herniations is very important in the decision of surgical levels and operative method and is also one of the rate limiting factor for the successful postoperative results. Until now pain provocation test with discography is known as the unique functional and physiological method to localize the symptomatic level of disc herniation. But it is an invasive study and there is still an ongoing argument about discography for their diagnostic accuracy and specificity. Digital infrared thermographic imaging technique is a non-invasive technique to detect the discogenic pain with high accuracy. Authors evaluated the diagnostic efficacy of digital infrared thermographic imaging in 202 cases of multiple lumbar disc herniations by analysis of symptom correlation and the accuracy with operative findings. And also the correlation of digital infrared thermographic imaging technique with discography was analyzed. The digital infrared thermographic imaging technique showed high sensitivity(86.4%) to the clinical symptom and good correlation with the operative findings. It also revealed high correlation rate(81.4%) with discography. As a conclusion, digital infrared thermographic imaging technique is a highly effective diagnostic tool in the localization of the symptomatic level in multiple disc herniations.

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