SU-E-J-273: Skin Temperature Recovery Rate as a Potential Predictor for Radiation-Induced Skin Reactions




To assess the potential of dynamic infrared imaging to evaluate early skin reactions during radiation therapy in cancer patients.


Thermal images were captured by our home-built system consisting of two flash lamps and an infrared (IR) camera. The surface temperature of the skin was first raised by ∼ 6 °C from ∼1 ms short flashes; the camera then captured a series of IR images for 10 seconds. For each image series, a basal temperature was recorded for 0.5 seconds before flash was triggered. The temperature gradients (ε) were calculated between a reference point (immediately after the flash) and at a time point of 2sec, 4sec and 9sec after that. A 1.0 cm region of interest (ROI) on the skin was drawn; the mean and standard deviations of the ROIs were calculated. The standard ε values for normal human skins were evaluated by imaging 3 healthy subjects with different skin colors. All of them were imaged on 3 separate days for consistency checks.


The temperature gradient, which is the temperature recovery rate, depends on the thermal properties of underlying tissue, i.e. thermal conductivity. The average ε for three volunteers averaged over 3 measurements were 0.64±0.1, 0.72±0.2 and 0.80±0.3 at 2sec, 4sec and 9sec respectively. The standard deviations were within 1.5%–3.2%. One of the volunteers had a prior small skin burn on the left wrist and the ε values for the burned site were around 9% (at 4sec) and 13% (at 9sec) lower than that from the nearby normal skin.


The temperature gradients from the healthy subjects were reproducible within 1.5%–3.2 % and that from a burned skin showed a significant difference (9%–13%) from the normal skin. We have an IRB approved protocol to image head and neck patients scheduled for radiation therapy.