Lower extremity thermographic profile of individuals undergoing ulcerative wound treatment: a qualitative exploration of images
ABSTRACT Thermography proves to be a new concept in measuring the thermogenesis of biological systems, a valuable method for confirming clinical diagnosis discarding subjective analysis and personal criteria. The result of the thermographic evaluation is the subject of qualitative and quantitative analyses. This study aimed to identify the thermal profile of the lower extremities of individuals diagnosed with cardiovascular and endocrine and metabolic diseases in the treatment of ulcerative wounds. A thermographic evaluation was performed from 19 dorsal, plantar, lateral, and medial extremities. In the qualitative analysis, images with and without a wound were divided according to diagnosis. After the division, a checklist was elaborated for the qualitative evaluation of the images. A total of 100 individuals (49 women and 51 men) participated, 65 with cardiovascular disease and 35 with endocrine and metabolic disease. There was a difference in the thermal pattern between the extremities in both diagnoses. The groups presented similar thermographic characteristics with signs of more radiation in the wounds, predominantly with red and white stains. More regions of interest with lesions on the medial foot, lateral, and medial ankle border were observed in individuals with chronic cardiovascular disease. Those with endocrine and metabolic disease presented more regions with lesions in the plantar (forefoot), dorsal, and medial ankle regions. The profile showed a discrepancy in the thermal pattern in the regions of interest of wounded and without wound extremities according to the diagnoses. Signs of wounds emitting high levels of radiation were similar in both groups, but the physiology of the disease and treatment differed.