Assessment of the Biological Damage in Whiplash Syndrome: Role of Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) and Ultrasonography (US)


Objectives: To compare DITI vs US in a cohort of patients with whiplash syndrome for assessing soft tissues injuries of the cervical and dorsal spine. Methods: 70 patients presenting to clinic with traumatic cervical and/or dorsal spine injury and with a clinical diagnosis of whiplash syndrome underwent both DITI (AVIO TVS 2000) and US (GE Logic 5) of the following muscles: sternocleidomastoid, splenius, trapezius, longus colli and paravertebral muscles. DITI considered positive in the region with the most altered temperature among the injured area examinated (normal range 0℃ - 0.8℃). US valued the cervical and dorsal region with a comparative examination of the soft tissues. The images taken with DITI were compared with the clinical and the sonographic outcomes respectively. US and DITI were considered a) congruent whether both had a positive outcome for the same muscle clinically injured; b) not congruent whether one of the two instruments had a different outcome then the clinical evidence. Wilcoxon paired test was used for statistical analysis. Results: DITI and US matched 153 of 233 (65%) injured muscles. The association between DITI and US in the evaluation of the injured muscles was statistically significant for the following muscles: left trapezius (p < 0.01), right trapezius (p < 0.001) and right splenius (p < 0.025). Conclusions: According to our preliminary study, DITI and US were both helpful for assessing soft tissues injuries in patients with whiplash syndrome, defining the extent of the biologic damage for a correct clinical-therapeutical management.

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G. Parenti, E. Gualtieri, F. Fontana, A. Benelli and F. Albarello, "Assessment of the Biological Damage in Whiplash Syndrome: Role of Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) and Ultrasonography (US)," Open Journal of Radiology, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 222-230. doi: 10.4236/ojrad.2013.34036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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