Quantitative thermal perception thresholds, comparison between methods

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för medicinsk biokemi och mikrobiologi; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för medicinsk biokemi och mikrobiologi

Abstract: Skin temperature is detected through signals in unmyelinated C-fibers and thin myelinated Aδ-fibers in the peripheral and central nervous system. Disorders in thin nerve fibres are important and not rare but difficult to diagnose by the most common neurophysiological methods. In this pilot study different methods for quantitative sensory testing, QST, were compared to give some ideas about which method could be the most efficient to use in order to point out injuries of the sensory system in clinical practice. The comparison was made between Békésy (separate warmand cold thresholds) and Marstock test (combined warm and cold thresholds). The study also included the test persons estimations of the difficulty to perform the tests. The study showed that there was no practical difference between the tests and that the test persons estimations did not show any indications that the methods differed in rating of difficulty. Our study did not give reason to stop measuring warm and cold detection thresholds separately, which is the international standard and have some theoretical advantages. We also compared detection thresholds for hand and foot, warmth and cold and for both slow and fast temperature changes to enlighten factors that could affect our measuring data.

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