Unlike X-Ray, sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and virtually all other modern medical imaging modalities designed to capture anatomical information, medical Infrared technology is designed to capture physiological information.
Physiological imaging such as Infrared used in Thermology, captures and images the natural superficial Infrared (heat) emission of the skin and accurately represents its temperature. The temperature of the skin is a complex phenomenon that is very much influenced by the perfusion of small blood vessels regulated by the vaso-constrictive and vaso-dilatory influences of the autonomic nervous systems’ sympathetic and parasympathetic components respectively.
However, skin temperature also is affected by larger blood vessels and the metabolic character of tissues deeper in the body. These energy features are transmitted to the skin surface and can greatly influence its temperature. The energy features are characteristically diffused by depth and non-homogeneity of the underlying tissue. While characteristics of skin perfusion are of interest in Thermology studies of the peripheral nervous system, it is the vascular and metabolic features of deeper tissue that is of principle interest to a diagnostic study.
Modern imaging devices provide a way for physicians to instantly capture large arrays (images) of quantitative thermographic information. The newly certified iScanHD imaging system by Medical Thermography Associates provides a 640 pixel resolution, this means there are 307,000 separate points of recorded temperature data in each image, unlike others that provide at best under 77,000 separate points of recorded temperature. In the slideshow images below, each pixel represents a different temperature.
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