Medical Infrared Thermal Imaging of Syringomyelia in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Abstract: Medical infrared thermal imaging (MITI) is a non-invasive imaging modality gaining popularity in the veterinary field. An infrared camera captures emission of heat and creates a color map in the form of a thermogram. Topical heat emission is influenced by localized disease processes as a result of autonomic nervous system imbalance.

The purpose of this study was to determine the utility of using thermography to identify changes in thermographic patterns associated with syringomyelia (SM) presence or absence in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) with Chiari-like Malformation (CLM).

Results: In CKCS with CLM, MITI was most accurate at a texture distance of 6. Optimizing imaging feature sets produced a highest accuracy of 69.9% (95% CI: 59.5-79.0%), with 81.3% sensitivity and 57.8% specificity for identifying the presence of syringomyelia.

Conclusion: Thermographic image analysis is a successful non-invasive, diagnostic test that can be used to screen for syringomyelia presence in a CKCS with CLM.

Access the full study here.

Reference: M Larkin, C Loughin, D Marino, C Dewey, S Umbaugh , J Sackman. (2020) BMC Vet Res May 14:16(1):137.

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