Digitized infrared segmental thermometry: time requirements for stable recordings

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. Jul-Aug 2006;29(6):468.e1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2006.06.007.


Objectives: Digitized infrared segmental thermometry (DIST) is a method for measuring and recording skin surface body temperatures. The project evaluated the required length of time for patients to acclimatize their core body temperature to ambient conditions to obtain stable DIST readings.

Methods: Seventeen subjects were allowed a 20-minute acclimatizing period in a temperature-controlled room. The bilateral DIST temperature was measured with thermistors in combination with infrared cameras (IRCs) at the C4 and L4 levels. All IRC temperatures were recorded after a 20-minute stabilization period. The room temperature and relative humidity were recorded throughout all trials. The acclimatization trend was computed from the 20- to 24-minute period for the IRCs, and the acclimatization trend was computed continuously for a total of 30 minutes (at 2-minute intervals) for 5 days.

Results: We discovered a stabilization trend in the early trial stages, with the thermistor recordings between 8 and 16 minutes. The IRC trend was also conclusive for the core temperature requirements.

Conclusions: This study determined a core body temperature acclimatization trend tested among patients using thermistor recordings in a controlled environment. Based on these findings, we recommend acclimatization in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment for a minimum 8-minute period, followed by an 8-minute maximum recording period with the patient in a prone position to obtain accurate DIST recordings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted* / instrumentation
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Male
  • Photography / instrumentation
  • Rectum
  • Reference Values
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Temperature
  • Thermography*
  • Thermometers
  • Time Factors
  • Tympanic Membrane