J Korean Med Sci. 1998 Jun;13(3):291-4.
Digital infrared thermographic imaging in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
We performed a thermographic study to observe any possible interaction between the esophageal acid perfusion and the temperature changes of skin surface in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Twenty-seven patients with GERD were categorized as group I(globus symptoms with posterior laryngitis) and group II (heartburn and/or regurgitation symptoms). Patients and 6 healthy volunteers underwent Bernstein test (BT) and digital infrared thermographic imaging (DITI) simultaneously. The positive rate for BT in group I and group II was 22.2% and 55.6%, respectively, and the DITI positive rate was 55.6% for group I and 50.0% for group II. None of healthy control were positive in BT or DITI. All subjects with DITI positive were hypothermic. The overall accordance rate between DITI and BT was 69.7%. All group I patients showed a diffuse type, while in group 11, 4 patients showed diffuse type and 5 patients showed localized type (p<0.05). In patients with DITI (+)/BT (-), 83.3% showed diffuse type, whereas equal numbers of diffuse and localized type were noted in patients with DITI (+)/BT (+). In conclusion, add contact with a sensitive mucosa leads to an activation of the sympathetic nervous system in some patients with GERD, inducing skin surface hypothermia.