DITI in Equine Practice

Veterinary DITI's major clinical value is in the early identification of inflammatory and / or neurological processes involving the soft tissue and the bone.

Veterinary DITI is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that allows the examiner to visualize and quantify changes in skin surface temperature.

An infrared scanning device is used to convert infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in colour on a monitor. This visual image graphically maps the body temperature and is referred to as a thermogram.

The spectrum of colours indicate an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body surface.

Since there is a high degree of thermal symmetry in the normal body, subtle abnormal temperature changes can be easily identified.

DITI can provide information about an animals response to treatment as well as the effects of injury, disease or prescribed treatment.

Veterinary DITI has been gaining increasingly wide acceptance in human and Veterinary medicine over the past 20 years and is now being used more extensively in the U.S.A., Europe, Asia and Australia. Previously, outdated cumbersome equipment had hampered its diagnostic and economic viability.

Current state of the art PC based IR technology designed specifically for clinical application has changed all this.

Clinical uses for DITI include;

  1. To define the extent of a lesion of which a diagnosis has previously been made;

  2. To localize an abnormal area not previously identified, so further diagnostic tests can be performed;

  3. To detect early lesions before they are clinically evident;

  4. To monitor the healing process before the patient is returned to work or training.

The neuro-thermography application of DITI measures the somatic component of the sympathetic nervous system by assessing dermal blood flow. The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated at the same anatomical location as its sensory counterpart and produces a 'somato sympathetic response'. The somato sympathetic response appears on DITI as a localized area of altered temperature with specific features for each anatomical lesion.

Both hot and cold responses may co exist if the pain associated with an inflammatory focus excites an increase in sympathetic activity. Also, vascular conditions are readily demonstrated by DITI including Vasculitis, limb ischemia, DVT, etc.

Skin blood flow is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system. In normal subjects (asymptomatic) there is a symmetrical dermal pattern which is consistent and reproducible for any individual. This is recorded in precise detail to a temperature sensitivity of 0.01°C by the Meditherm vet2000™ DITI system.

The mean temperature reduction in peripheral nerve injury is 1.5°C. Rheumatological processes generally appear as 'hot' areas with increased temperature patterns, the pathology is generally an inflammatory process, i.e. synovitis of joints and tendon sheaths, periosteal damage and muscle injuries, etc.

"Early inflammation of a stressed tendon can be detected up to 2 weeks earlier than by routine clinical examination".

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Last modified: January 19, 2016
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