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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2003 Oct;34(4):314-318. Korean. Original Article.
Kim SB , Cho YJ , Kuh SU , Chin DK , Cho YE , Kim YS .
Department of Neurosurgery, Yonsei University College of medicine, Seoul, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: Electromyography(EMG) has been very helpful in establishing the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS). But invasive procedure of EMG makes patients discomfort, who are suffering from consistent numbness. The authors investigate the diagnostic efficacy of Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging(DITI) in CTS by comparing thermal changes between normal control group and patients group. METHODS: Among 31 patients who had operated due to CTS from march 1984 to February 2002 at the Spine Center, both EMG & DITI were used for diagnostic method in 24 patients. Authors have measured thermal differences(deltaT, degrees C) of symptomatic site between forearm and palm in 20 patients, and 30 normal controls. Authors have analyzed thermal differences(deltaT, degrees C) statistically using T-test. RESULTS: Average thermal difference(deltaT, degrees C) in symptomatic site was statistically higher than that of normal control group. Average thermal difference(deltaT, degrees C) is+0.984+/-0.342 degrees C in symptomatic site, +0.323+/-0.296 degrees C in normal control group, respectively. Significant thermal difference(deltaT, degrees C) was seen between two groups(p<0.005). Average thermal difference(deltaT, degrees C) in CT S was statistically higher than normal group, significantly. Average thermal difference(deltaT, degrees C) greater than 1 degrees C can be suspicious of CTS. CONCLUSION: Diagnostic usefulness of DITI in CTS is very high especially for the screening purpose.

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