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Article

Infrared Thermal Imaging as a Novel Non-Invasive Point-of-Care Tool to Assess Filarial Lymphoedema

1
Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Department of Tropical Disease Biology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
2
Filariasis Elimination, STH Control and Little Doctor Programme, CDC, DGHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Masutaka Furue
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(11), 2301; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112301
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 19 May 2021 / Accepted: 21 May 2021 / Published: 25 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Dermatology)
Lymphatic filariasis causes disfiguring and disabling lymphoedema, which is commonly and frequently exacerbated by acute dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA). Affected people require long-term care and monitoring but health workers lack objective assessment tools. We examine the use of an infrared thermal imaging camera as a novel non-invasive point-of-care tool for filarial lower-limb lymphoedema in 153 affected adults from a highly endemic area of Bangladesh. Temperature differences by lymphoedema stage (mild, moderate, severe) and ADLA history were visualised and quantified using descriptive statistics and regression models. Temperatures were found to increase by severity and captured subclinical differences between no lymphoedema and mild lymphoedema, and differences between moderate and severe stages. Toes and ankle temperatures detected significant differences between all stages other than between mild and moderate stages. Significantly higher temperatures, best captured by heel and calf measures, were found in participants with a history of ADLA, compared to participants who never had ADLA, regardless of the lymphoedema stage. This novel tool has great potential to be used by health workers to detect subclinical cases, predict progression of disease and ADLA status, and monitor pathological tissue changes and stage severity following enhanced care packages or other interventions in people affected by lymphoedema. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrared thermal imaging; lymphatic filariasis; lymphoedema; NTDs; neglected tropical diseases; skin temperature; tissue tonometry; point of care infrared thermal imaging; lymphatic filariasis; lymphoedema; NTDs; neglected tropical diseases; skin temperature; tissue tonometry; point of care
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kelly-Hope, L.A.; Karim, M.J.; Sultan Mahmood, A.; Al Kawsar, A.; Khair, A.; Betts, H.; Douglass, J.; Forrer, A.; Taylor, M.J. Infrared Thermal Imaging as a Novel Non-Invasive Point-of-Care Tool to Assess Filarial Lymphoedema. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 2301. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112301

AMA Style

Kelly-Hope LA, Karim MJ, Sultan Mahmood A, Al Kawsar A, Khair A, Betts H, Douglass J, Forrer A, Taylor MJ. Infrared Thermal Imaging as a Novel Non-Invasive Point-of-Care Tool to Assess Filarial Lymphoedema. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(11):2301. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112301

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kelly-Hope, Louise A., Mohammad J. Karim, ASM Sultan Mahmood, Abdullah Al Kawsar, Abul Khair, Hannah Betts, Janet Douglass, Armelle Forrer, and Mark J. Taylor 2021. "Infrared Thermal Imaging as a Novel Non-Invasive Point-of-Care Tool to Assess Filarial Lymphoedema" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 11: 2301. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112301

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