Assessment of hand osteoarthritis: correlation between thermographic and radiographic methods.
OBJECTIVE: Anatomical stages of digital osteoarthritis (OA) have been characterized radiographically as progressing through sequential phases from normal to osteophyte formation, progressive loss of joint space, joint erosion and joint remodelling. Our study was designed to evaluate a physiological parameter, joint surface temperature, measured with computerized digital infrared thermal imaging, and its association with sequential stages of radiographic OA (rOA). METHODS: Thermograms, radiographs and digital photographs were taken of both hands of 91 subjects with nodal hand OA. Temperature measurements were made on digits 2-5 at distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints, proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints (2184 joints in total). We fitted a repeated measures ANCOVA model to analyse the effects of rOA on temperature, with handedness, joint group, digit and NSAID use as covariates. RESULTS: The reliability of the thermoscanning procedure was high (generalizability coefficient 0.899 for two scans performed 3 h apart). The mean joint temperature decreased with increasing rOA severity, defined by the Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) scale. The mean temperature of KL0 joints was significantly different from that of each of the other KL grades (P
Varjú, G; Pieper, CF; Renner, JB; Kraus, VB
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