The use of infrared thermography for the investigation of thermoregulation in humans

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Skin is one of the primary channels realizing the heat exchange of a human organism with its environment. When body temperature regulation is under study, the experimental methods and high-sensitive techniques allowing real-time registration of skin surface thermal patterns take on great significance. Infrared thermography supplied with twodimensional (or focal plane array based) infrared detectors is best suited for these needs. This chapter gives an overview of infrared thermography as a powerful research method applied to the biomedical sphere. It also embraces the material of recent IRTassisted experimental works devoted to the studies of a human organism heat exchange with its environment under different active loadings. A high-performance infrared camera having 0.03°C temperature sensitivity was used in the experiments. It is pictorially demonstrated how the surface thermal patterns are transformed in the course of physical and heat (hyperthermic) loads applied to the organism. Infrared thermography provides a way of visualizing the fine manifestations of vascular and perspiratory systems that is impossible to carry out using any other experimental methods. The results of quantitative analysis of two-dimensional thermograms are also presented. It follows from the infrared observations that the typical feature of a loaded organism is its highly heterogeneous thermal pattern represented on the skin. This surface temperature non-uniformity, on the one hand, results from skin cooling due to the sweat evaporation and on the other hand from local heating due to transient dilation of separate superficial branches of vessels (the so-called "veins-collectors"). Quantitative characterization of highly heterogeneous thermograms having a direct relationship to the study of body temperature regulation is a new problem of modern biomedical infrared thermography. The original methods attacking this problem are also mentioned in this chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBody Temperature Regulation
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781608765850
ISBN (Print)9781607412823
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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