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Korean J Anesthesiol > Volume 44(5); 2003 > Article
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2003;44(5):659-666.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2003.44.5.659   
Correlation between Pain Scale and Infrared Thermography in Unilateral Pain Patients after Nerve Block.
Eun Kyoung Ahn, Ye Chul Lee, Nam Sik Woo, Po Soon Kang, Seong Hyop Kim, Eun young Park
1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Ilsan, Korea. ahnek@netian.com
2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Being a subjective symptom, an objective evaluation of pain and severity is important in the diagnosis and detection of treatment outcome. This study examined the usefulness of infrared thermography for the objective evaluation of pain, irrespective of the original disease.
METHODS
Patients with unilateral pain who underwent nerve block were randomly selected. Infrared thermography was performed and subjective pain site and severity were assessed before and after nerve block.
RESULTS
The temperature difference between the pain site and the contralateral site was significantly correlated with subjective pain severity before and after block (P < 0.01). Improvements in VAS were correlated with temperature difference decrement between both sides after nerve block (P <0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Infrared thermal imaging can demonstrate subjective pain objectively. Thermal differences between the pain sites and the contralateral sites are an indicator of pain scale in a patient with ipsilateral pain. Moreover the thermal difference may be a useful means of determining outcome.
Key Words: Epidural block; infrared thermal imaging; intercostal nerve block; peripheral nerve block; stellate ganglion block
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