Thermal imaging camera monitors pain processing in patients suffering from small fiber neuropathy

Early results from the NeuroSIPE* programme 'Beyond Pain' project, in research funded by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, demonstrate how a FLIR SC5600 thermal imaging camera has been used as an effective, non-invasive tool for monitoring of pain processing in the central nervous system of patients suffering from small fiber neuropathy.

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Small fiber neuropathy (SFN) is a sensory neuropathy that affects small fibers and their functions. Currently there is not a gold standard for the diagnosis of SFN. While skin biopsy provides an assessment of intra-epidermal nerve fiber density, the technique is invasive, labour-intensive and has limited accuracy. The goal of the 'Beyond Pain' project is to develop a technique that enables quantitative and non-invasive diagnosis of SFN.

SFN is known to affect the local vasomotor response of skin. Using a method developed by 'Beyond Pain' project researchers a subjects skin is locally heated up to a maximum of 42 C with an infrared lamp. The thermal response of the skin is evaluated based on two signals: local skin blood flow, measured with laser Doppler flowmetry and local skin temperature, measured with a thermography camera (FLIR SC5600). The first results on healthy volunteers demonstrate that the regulation of skin temperature can be assessed with the new technique.

FLIR SC-Series thermal imaging cameras are used for capturing and recording thermal distribution and variations in real-time, allowing researchers to see and accurately measure heat patterns, dissipation, leakage, and other temperature factors in equipment, products and processes.  These cameras can distinguish temperature changes as subtle as 0.02°C. They feature state-of-the-art detector technology and advanced mathematical algorithms for high performance and precise measurements from -80°C to +3000°C. The SC-Series R&D camera range combine extremely high imaging performance and precise temperature measurements, with powerful tools and software for analysing and reporting.

For a copy of the project report visit or contact FLIR Systems on telephone +33 (0)1 6037 0100 / [email protected] for further information on SC-Series thermal imaging cameras.

Pioneers in all aspects of infrared technology, FLIR designs, manufactures, and supports thermal imaging systems and subsystems for industrial, scientific, governmental, commercial, and fire fighting applications. With a 40-year history of infrared innovation, over 100,000 systems in use worldwide, and development centres and sales offices in over 60 countries, FLIR is the world leader in thermal imaging technology.


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