Utility of thermography in the diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy

C. M. Harper, P. A. Low, R. D. Fealey, T. C. Chelimsky, C. J. Proper, D. A. Gillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We performed infrared telethermography in 55 patients with the clinical diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy and in 37 normal controls. Five readers interpreted the thermograms in a blinded fashion. A moderate degree of agreement was noted in tests of intraobserver and interobserver variability. The sensitivity of thermography ranged from 78% to 94% compared with 81% to 92% for imaging studies and 77% for EMG. The specificity of thermography ranged from 20% to 44%. Thermography predicted the level of the radiculopathy correctly in less than 50% of cases. Thermography has little or no utility in the diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1014
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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