Thermography Research

Thermography has been a controversial science (see the last question in the FAQ page), but the evidence is amassing that it is an accurate and reliable screening and diagnostic tool in many areas of medicine. The list below is a brief selection of scientific studies regarding general theoretical articles about thermography, followed by specific health conditions that demonstrate thermography’s efficacy as a diagnostic tool, for heading off problems before they become serious, and for determining the efficacy of a treatment. All links were active at the time of the preparation of this document.


"The Basic Theory and Clinical Application of Medical Thermography.” Yang Zibin. Journal of BioMedical Engineering Research, 2003.

“Contemporary Applications of Infrared Imaging in Medical Diagnostics.” D. Mikulska. Annales Academiae Medicae Stetinensis, vol. 52, no. 1 ([2006), pp. 35-39; discussion 39-40.

“Advances in Medical Infrared Thermal Imaging Technology.” Min-Hau Zhou and Qian Chen. Infrared (2008).

“Infrared Thermography: Experience from a Decade of Pediatric Imaging.” European Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 167, no. 7 (2008),
pp. 757-764.

“Thermography in Biomedicine—Specific Requirements.” I. A. Nola, K. Gotovac, and  D. Kolaric. ELMAR, 2012 Proceedings (2012), pp. 355-357.


Also see “Rheumatology”

“Three-dimensional and thermal surface imaging produces reliable measures of joint shape and temperature: a potential tool for quantifying arthritis.” Steven J. Spaulding, C. Kent Kwoh, Robert Boudreau, et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 10, no. 1 (2008).

“Detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Infrared Imaging.” Monique Frize, Cynthia Adea, Pierre Payeur, et al. SPIE Proceedings: Medical Imaging 2011, vol. 7962 (2011).

“Patellar Skin Surface Temperature by Thermography Reflects Knee Osteoarthritis Severity.” Anna E. Denoble, Norine Hall, Carl F. Pieper, et al. Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 3 (2010), pp. 69–75.
Available from

“Thermography of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.” N. Borojevic, D. Kolaric, and S. Grazio. ELMAR, 2011 Proceedings (2011), pp. 293-295.

“Application of Infrared Thermography as a Diagnostic Tool of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Ahlem Arafaoui,  Mohamed Amine Bouzid,  Hervé Pron, et al. Journal of Thermal Science and Technology, vol. 7, no. 1 (2012), pp. 227-235.


Breast Cancer 

“Breast Thermography and Cancer Risk Prediction.” Michel Gautherie, Charles M. Gros. Cancer, vol. 45, no. 1 (January 1, 1980),
pp. 51-56., et al.

The Ville Marie study is the most cited study about the promise of thermography. You can find it here:
Since the time of that study (1998), the quality of thermographic images has improved tremendously. 

A good overview of the issue of how thermography can supplement mammography and details of the Ville Marie study is found at

“A review of thermography as promising non-invasive detection modality for breast tumor.” E.Y.-K. Ng. International Journal of Thermal Sciences, vol. 48 (2009), pp. 849-859.

“A Comparative Review of Thermography as a Breast Screening Technique.” Deborah Kennedy, Tanya Lee, and Dugald Seely. Integrative Cancer Therapies, vol. 8, no. 1(2009), pp. 9-16

“Thermography-based breast cancer analysis using statistical features and fuzzy classification.”  Gerald Schaefera, Michal Závišekb, Tomoharu Nakashimac. Pattern Recognition, vol. 42, no. 6 (2009), pp. 1133-1137.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

"Thermographic observations in unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome: report of 61 cases.” S. Tchou, BJ Costich, RC Burgess, et al.
The Journal of Hand Surgery
, vol. 4 ( July 1992), pp. 631-637.

"Application of Medical Thermography in the Diagnostics of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” J. Zivcak, L Madarasz, and R. Hudak. Computational Intelligence and Informatics (IEEE International Symposium), 2011, pp. 535-539.

Cardiovascular Health

Also see “Inflammation”

“Thermography of the Cardiovascular System.” Christodoulos Stefanadis, Konstantinos Toutouszas, and Sophia Vaina. The Journal of Interventional Cardiology, vol. 15, no. 6 (2002), pp. 461-466.

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)

“Validation of Thermography in the Diagnosis of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.” S. Breuhl, TR Lubenow, H. Nath, et al. The Clinical Journal of Pain, vol. 12, no. 4 (1996), pp. 316-325.

“Infrared Thermographic Imaging for the Assessment of Temperature Asymmetries in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.” M. Hassan, D. Hattery, V. Chernomordil, et. al. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2003. Proceedings of the 25th Annual International Conference of the IEEE, vol.2 (2003), pp. 1002-1105.

“Thermography imaging during static and controlled thermoregulation in complex regional pain syndrome type 1: diagnostic value and involvement of the central sympathetic system.” Sjoerd P/ Noehof, Frank JPM Huygen, Rick WP van der Weerd, et al. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, Volume 5 (2006).

Colon Cancer

“Thermography in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer: Evidence and review of the method.” Marko Banic, Darko Kolaric, Nikola Borojevic, et al. Periodicum Biologorum, vol 113, no. 4 (2011), pp. 339-444.

Chronic Pelvic Inflammation

“Clinical Analysis on Chronic Pelvic Inflammation Diagnosed with Infrared Rays Image.” Hong-yu Zhong, Ye-an Liang, and Gui-senLu. Heilongjiang Medical Journal, 2005.


“Medical thermography: A diagnostic approach for type 2 diabetes based on non-contact infrared thermal imaging.” S. Sivanandam, M. Anburajan, B. Venkatraman, et. al.

 “Variations of plantar thermographic patterns in normal controls and non-ulcer diabetic patients: novel classification using angiosome concept.” T. Nagase, H. Sanada, K. Takehara, et al. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 64, no. 7 (July 2011), pp. 860-866.

“Coming events cast their shadows before: detecting inflammation in the acute diabetic foot and the foot in remission.” Manish Bharara, Jeffrey Schoess, and David G. Armstrong. Diabetes/Metabolism: Research and Reviews, vol. 28 (2011), pp. 15-20.

“Screening for Osteomyelitis Using Thermography in Patients with Diabetic Foot.” Makoto Oe, Rie Roselyne Yotsu, Hiromi Sananda, et al. Ulcers, vol. 2013 (2013).

“Infrared dermal thermography on diabetic feet soles to predict ulcerations: a case study.” Chanjuan Liu,  Ferdi van  der Heijden, Marvin E. Kein, et al. Proceedings of SPEI, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic System IX, March 22, 2013.

“Feasibility of a Thermographic Method for Early Detection of Foot Disorders in Diabetes.” K. Roback, M. Johansson, and A. Starkhammar. Diabetes Technologies and Therapeutics, vol. 11, no. 10 (2009).

Eye Conditions

“Potential Applications of Ocular Thermography.” Philip B. Morgan; Meng Poey Soh, Nathan Efron, et al. Optometry and Vision Science, vol. 70, No. 7 (1993).

“Infrared Thermography of the Tear Film in Dry Eye.” Philip B Morgan, Andrew B Tullo, and Nathan Efron. Eye, vol. 9 (1995), pp. 615–618.

Headaches, including Migraines

“A Distinctive Facial Thermographic Pattern in Cluster Headache: The ‘Chi’ Sign.” Lee Kudrow, MD. HEADACHE: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, vol. 25, no. 1 (1985): 33-36.

“Thermography in the Diagnosis of Headache.” RG Ford and KT Ford. Seminars in Neurology, vol. 17, no. 4 (1997), pp. 343-349.

“Usefullness [sic] of Thermography in Migraine Diagnosis.” JH Kim, JP Seo, SM Kim, et al. Journal of the Korean Geriatric Society, vo.. 4, no.1 (2000), pp. 35-44.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

“Thermography in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer: Evidence and review of the method.” Marko Banic, Darko Kolaric, Nikola Borojevic, et al. Periodicum Biologorum, vol 113, no. 4 (2011), pp. 339-444.


Thermography in Posttraumatic Pain.” Rubem Pochaczevsky, MD. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 15, no. 3 (June 1987), pp. 243-250.

“Infrared thermographic imaging in the detection of sympathetic dysfunction in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome.” DJ Ben-Eliyahu, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, vol. 15, no. 3 (1992), 164-170.

“The Use of Thermography in Sympathetically Maintained Pain.” M.S. Friedman. The Iowa Orthopedic Journal, vol. 14 (1994),
pp. 141-147.

“Plantar Infrared Thermography Measurements and Low Back Pain Intensity.” N. Zaproudina, Z. Ming, and OO. Hanninen. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, vol. 29, no. 3 (Mar-Apr 2006), 219-223.


“Thermography in Psoriasis Vulgaris Evaluation.” A. Zalewska, G. Gralewicz, and B. Wiecek. 27th Annual International Conference Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2005, pp. 627-630.

Respiratory Issues

“Infrared Thermography to Mass-Screen Suspected SARS Patients with Fever.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health. WT Chui, PW Lin, HY Chiou, et al. Vol. 24 (March 1, 2012), pp. 352-360.

“Neo-Natal Non-contact Respiratory Monitoring Based on Real-Time Infrared Imaging.” Abbas K. Abbas, Konrad Heimann, Katrin Jergus, et al. BioMedical Engineering Online, Volume 10 (2011).

“Dynamic Infrared Thermography of the Nasal Vestibules: A New Method.” KG Kastl, KM Wiesmiller, and J Lindemann. Rhinology, vol. 47, no. 1 (2009), 89-92.


Also see “Arthritis”

“Juvenile Onset Localized Scleroderma Activity Detection by Infrared Thermography.” G. Martini, K. J. Murray, K. J. Howell, et al. Rheumatology,  vol 41, no. 10 (2002 ), pp. 1178-1182.

“Thermography Detects Subclinical Inflammation in Chronic Tophaceous Gout.” Martin Schiavenato and Ralf G. Thiele. Journal of Rheumatology, vol39, no. 1 (Jan 2012), pp. 182-183.

“Assessment of Hand Osteoarthritis: Correlation between Thermographic and Radiographic Methods.” G. Varjú, CF Pieper, JB Renner, et al.

“Infrared Thermography in Sports Activity.” Ahlem Arfaoui, Guillaume Polidori, Redha Taiar, et al. InTechOpen March 14, 2012; originally published as chapter 7 of the book Infrared Thermography, edited by Raghu V.Prakash.

Spinal Issues and Back Pain

“Correlation of Thermography with Spinal Dysfunction: Preliminary Results.” Peter RP Diakow, Sandra Ouellet, et al. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropratic Association, vol. 32, no. 2 (June 1988), pp. 77-80.

Dissertation. Methodological Aspects of Use of Infrared Thermography in Healthy Individuals and Patients with Non-specific Musculoskeletal Disorders. Nina Zaproudina. University of Eastern Finland. 2012.

Traumatic Injury

"Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging for Remote Assessment of Traumatic Injury.” William H. Cooke, Gilbert Moralez, Chelsea R. Barrera, et al. Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 111, no. 6 (2011), pp. 1813-1818.

“An Overview of Recent Application of Medical Infrared Thermography in Sports Medicine in Austria.” Sensors, volume 10 (2010), pp.4700-4715.

Vascular Issues

“The application of infrared thermography in evaluation of patients at high risk for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease.” CL Huang, YW Wu, CL Hwang, et al. Journal of Vascular Surgery, vol 54, no. 4 (2011), pp. 1074-1080.

“Medical Thermography Application in Neuro-vascular Disease Diagnostics.” M. Tkacova, P Faffova, R Hudak, et al. Applied Machine Intelligence and Infomatics, 2010 IEEE 8th Annual International Symposium Proceedings, pp. 293-296.

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