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Thermography

Paul H. Goodley, MD
JAMA. 1983;249(8):1003-1004. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330320011008.
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To the Editor.—  The MEDICAL NEWS description of thermography (1982; 247:3296) contained some crucial errors in interpretation and fact. It pointed to the usefulness of thermography in musculoskeletal conditions but was not entirely accurate by implying that thermography can serve as an independent diagnostic tool.Like electromyography, reliable thermography sensitivity discloses facets of otherwise undetectable processes (Medical Tribune, Oct 14, 1980, pp 1, 10).1,2 It can show the immediate influence of sympathetic activity on vascular flow in various conditions, but it does not declare the culprit. Although it is an invaluable other "eye," it is no substitute brain and must be interpreted in the context with clinical examination.Persistent thermographic irregularities only rarely occur without concurrent, however subtle, physical findings (Medical Tribune, Oct 14, 1980, pp 1,10).1,2 Thermography's ultimate value may be as a hone for sharpening clinical skills as the musculoskeletal diagnostician learns to attend "soft" as

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