Although numerous clinical thermographic studies are available, few basic science studies using thermography have been performed. As such, evidence suggesting the diagnostic use of thermography is often mired in the complexity of human ailments. This study thermographically evaluated the hind paws of rats. Rats acted as their own controls using the contralateral side as reference. Rats were separated into two groups: sham operated rats and rats with complete sciatic nerve transection. Rats that received sciatic transection were noted to have a 5.1 degrees C rise of the affected plantar hind paw immediately following transection. There was a statistical difference in right vs. left up to 42 days, and a return to symmetry at 63 days. The sham operated group did not experience a rise in temperature of the affected hind paw. Controlled animal studies of this type may be an aid in understanding clinical thermography.
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