Thermography Improves Clinical Assessment in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis Treated with Ozone Therapy

Author: Danuta Nowicka 

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland


Objective. Treatment of scleroderma is challenging and limited. The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of thermography in assessment of the clinical condition (joints movability and skin thickness) in clinically advanced patients with systemic sclerosis before and after ozone therapy. Method. The study included 42 patients aged 32 to 73 years with advanced systemic sclerosis hospitalized in the university clinic between 2003 and 2006. Thermography and clinical examinations were conducted at baseline and after two series of bath in water with ozone. Results. The comparison of results showed significant increase in skin temperature by 2.5°C, significant increase in interphalangeal joints movability by 18 degrees, and significant decrease in skin score by 14.7 points. The skin temperature was correlated with skin score (r = −0.59) and joints movability (r = +0.8). Conclusions. Ozone therapy shows positive effect on clinical parameters and skin temperature as measured with thermography. The study indicated possibility of introducing ozonotherapy as an independent therapy in cases with low level of progression or during remission periods and as additional treatment in patients with advanced disease requiring immunosuppressive treatment. Thermography is useful in assessment of skin condition showing strong correlation between skin temperature and clinical parameters.

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