Infrared Clinical Thermography: Normal Foot Growth Parameters

Paula Cobos MorenoDepartment of Nursing, University of Extremadura, Caceres, Spain.

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Alvaro Astasio PicadoDepartment of Nursing and Physiotherapy, University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain.

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Rodrigo Martínez QuintanaDepartment of Mathematics, University of Extremadura, Spain.

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Beatriz Gómez MartinDepartment of Nursing, University of Extremadura, Caceres, Spain.

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Abstract

Background: Clinical thermography is a relatively novel technique in wide use in different medical fields because of its versatility and ease of application. It inflicts no pain and it entails no contact with the pediatric patient, which assuages anxiety and fear in subjects when undergoing diagnostic exploration. The use of infrared clinical thermography being suggested here is to establish normality patterns, which have not been described in the relevant literature. These patterns may be extrapolated to pathological study by means of future research lines.

Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study (descriptive in nature) has been carried out, with a sample population of 328 children divided into two age groups; 6-7 and 13-16 years old, all of them schooled in the province of Cáceres (Spain). The variables analyzed here are: age, sex, and temperature. A FLIR E60bx® thermographic camera has been used to study foot temperature.

Results: Results show that the temperature varies among the different study areas established for the foot, although they remain constant bilaterally. In addition, the highest temperature is found to be located in the area of the first toe (29.8ºC), and the lowest at the heel (28.8ºC).

Conclusions: It can be concluded that both feet have the same thermal behavior, despite the variation in temperature among the different areas that were established in the foot for the purposes of this study.

Corresponding author: Paula Cobos Moreno, PhD, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Universidad de Extremadura, Calle la Garganta 32, Rebollar, Cáceres 10617, Spain. (E-mail: paulacm11@hotmail.com)