SINCE it is crucial both to detect bone tumors at the earliest stage and to accurately delineate the extent of disease, thermography has been investigated in an attempt to determine whether it can contribute to these two pressing clinical needs.
Thermography consists of the taking of thousands of measurements of the temperature of extremely small areas of the human body. These are then combined into a picture-like presentation in which higher temperatures appear as correspondingly darker portions of the picture, or thermogram. The measurements are taken by a sensing cell that is placed at some distance from the patient. Accordingly, as a clinical investigative procedure, thermography is especially attractice since it is noninvasive and relatively inexpensive.
Two groups have reported their experience in 23 patients with osteosarcoma.1,2 Both groups found that all primary malignant tumors yielded obviously abnormal thermographic signs when the patient was first examined. The
Wallace JD. Thermography in Bone Disease. JAMA. 1974;230(3):447-449. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240030063034