Thermography as a diagnostic aid in sciatica.

Title

Thermography as a diagnostic aid in sciatica.

Creator

McCulloch J; Frymoyer J; Steurer P; Riaz G; Hurst F

Publisher

Journal of spinal disorders

Date

1993
1993-10

Description

Thermography has been proposed as a diagnostic aid in patients with sciatica. Supporters of thermography state that: (a) normal patients have normal thermograms of their lower extremities, and (b) abnormal patients (with disk ruptures causing sciatica) have abnormal thermograms. To test these two hypotheses, 56 patients with clinically documented acute sciatica, with a supporting diagnostic study [computed tomography (CT), CT/myelography, and/or magnetic resonance imaging] showing a ruptured disk, had presurgical thermograms. One year after surgical intervention, they had to have had a documented success to surgical treatment intervention to stay in the study. These 56 patients were then matched with 56 control (normal) patients who had electronic thermograms. The 112 thermograms were then interpreted blindly by two thermographers. The sensitivity and specificity of thermography as a diagnostic aid in sciatica were statistically analyzed. The sensitivity of thermography (its ability to be positive when sciatica was clinically obvious) was 60% and 50% for the two thermographic readers. The specificity of thermography (its ability to be negative in asymptomatic patients) was 45% and 48% for the two thermographers. Our conclusions are no different than those published in 1985: thermography is not useful as a diagnostic aid in sciatica.

Subject

*Lumbar Vertebrae; *Sacrum; *Thermography; Adult; Female; Humans; Intervertebral Disc Displacement/*complications; Male; Middle Aged; Observer Variation; Random Allocation; Rupture; Sciatica/*diagnosis/etiology; Sensitivity and Specificity; Single-Blind Method; Spontaneous

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

427–431

Issue

5

Volume

6

Citation

McCulloch J; Frymoyer J; Steurer P; Riaz G; Hurst F, “Thermography as a diagnostic aid in sciatica.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed May 6, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/4245.

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