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April 8, 1992

AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs Takes a Fresh Look at Thermography

JAMA. 1992;267(14):1885-1887. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480140007002

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THE American Medical Association's (AMA's) Council on Scientific Affairs is rewriting its position from scratch on thermography, a safe but controversial test that measures skin temperature.

Citation of the council's existing position paper on thermography by the New Jersey Supreme Court last August, in ordering insurers to pay for the test, incensed critics who say controlled trials show thermography to be a useless procedure that should not be used except in research.

Even some advocates of the procedure say they are glad that the council is going to replace its somewhat ambiguous 1987 report, which was rejected by the AMA's House of Delegates that December. Delegates then adopted a resolution saying that there is no official AMA policy on thermography.

Last December, House members adopted another resolution stating that thermography has not been demonstrated to have any value as a diagnostic test. The House told the Council on Scientific Affairs