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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Apr 2023 - 7 Apr 2023

Methodology, Sex/Gender/Race, Translational

Human Studies, Medical Devices, Neurobiology

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Mar 16

J Clin Med




Infrared Thermography in Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: Joint Temperature Differs Based on Patient and Pain Characteristics.


De Marziani L, Boffa A, Angelelli L, Andriolo L, Di Martino A, Zaffagnini S, Filardo G


The aim of this study was to evaluate osteoarthritis (OA) patients with infrared thermography to investigate imaging patterns as well as demographic and clinical characteristics that influence knee inflammation. Forty patients with one-sided symptomatic knee OA were included and evaluated through knee-specific PROMs and the PainDETECT Questionnaire for neuropathic pain evaluation. Thermograms were captured using a thermographic camera FLIR-T1020 and temperatures were extracted using the software ResearchIR for the overall knee and the five ROIs: medial, lateral, medial patella, lateral patella, and suprapatellar. The mean temperature of the total knee was 31.9 ± 1.6 °C. It negatively correlated with age (rho = -0.380, = 0.016) and positively correlated with BMI (rho = 0.421, = 0.007) and the IKDC objective score (tau = 0.294, = 0.016). Men had higher temperatures in the knee medial, lateral, and suprapatellar areas ( = 0.017, = 0.019, = 0.025, respectively). Patients with neuropathic pain had a lower temperature of the medial knee area (31.5 ± 1.0 vs. 32.3 ± 1.1, = 0.042), with the total knee negatively correlating with PainDETECT ( = 0.045). This study demonstrated that the skin temperature of OA symptomatic knees is influenced by demographic and clinical characteristics of patients, with higher joint temperatures in younger male patients with higher BMI and worst objective knee scores and lower temperatures in patients affected by neuropathic pain.