Objectives: In this study, Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) was designed based on a noninvasive system that could display and detect the relative temperature variations in patients suffering from thyroid nodules especially nonpalpables.
Methods: In this prospective clinical trial, Infrared Thermal Camera (IRC) was used alternative to conventional clinical thermometers. 32 patients confirmed with thyroid nodules and volunteers as control were studied. Ultrasonography (US) was used for confirming the thyroid nodules while the DITI of thyroid surface skin temperature was obtained using the IRC.
Results: The thermal image shows the variation of the patient thyroid surface skin temperature according to hypoechoic and hyperechoic nodules. The DITIs showed higher temperature for hypoechoic nodul sides and it correlated with nodule size. There was no significant temperature difference on the sex distribution.
Conclusion: DITI is a valuable auxiliary to ultrasound, especially in thyroid hypoechoic nodul and if used in combination with other imaging modality, could play an extra role in the non-invasive diagnosis of thyroid nodules.