As a diagnostic tool that applies the science of thermodynamics, Contact Regulation Thermography (CRT) utilizes the physiologic reaction of the body when it is subjected to a cold stimulus to diagnose the health and functionality of the body’s tissues, glands, and organs. It works by measuring temperature of certain parts of the surface of the body a couple of times. It first gauges temperature as a baseline then gauges it again after the body parts in question are subjected to cold for 10 minutes.
The President of IMAT (International Medical Academy of Thermography) Germany, Petra Blum commented, “CRT has helped us get a different view of the attributes of disease development. This technology has facilitated knowledge regarding early metabolic and cellular dysfunction that plays a role in the rise of disruption that most likely result in disease. CRT made it possible for us to see what the body is doing prior to becoming dysfunctional to the point that it generates an irreversible problem”.
A study done in Stuttgart, Germany headed by oncology physician and Professor Wagner involved the participation of 70 women all diagnosed with breast cancer. Out of 63 women, 61 underwent a CRT (computerized regulation thermography) scan, mammogram, and a clinical examination, 48 were given a mammogram and a clinical examination, and 34 were merely clinically examined by a doctor.
The results of the study showed that a clinical examination alone led to an accuracy rate of 54% in diagnosis, while the inclusion of mammography boosted that rate to 76% and the addition of CRT boosted the accuracy further to a rate of 96%.
It is shown in research that small tumors usually tend to have greater heat increases compared to the bigger ones. Long-term follow-up indicates that thermograms can give us an initial glimpse of the development of a deadly tumor (Clark RM). But in a lot of benign and cancerous breast conditions abnormal findings can be seen on a thermogram. Women who suffer from hormonal irregularities are potentially at risk for acquiring cancer. They also tend to show the typical thermal signals. Fibrocystic changes are likely to manifest a uniform rise in vascularization, which can facilitate the differentiation between tumors and fibro cystic breast condition.
Even today, the only way to diagnose breast cancer is through a biopsy with a pathology report. According to this author, a clinical exam plus contact regulation thermography (CRT) and CRT followed by MRI or ultrasound is the best and optimal diagnostic approach for breast screening at this time. Contact regulation thermography is able to identify changes in precancerous physiology up to eight to 10 years before mammography tests detected them making the low cost, non-invasive, and non-radiation procedure of CRT, an ideal modality for prevention and early screening.
For women with enhanced, dense, large or large breasts, who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy, or who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy, thermography can be very useful for them.
The Difference between Infrared Thermal Imaging and CRT
In style of diagnosis, infrared thermal imaging and CRT adopt very different approaches, even if both are based on thermodynamics.
In thermal imaging, the emission, transmission, and reflection of infrared energy by the body are quantified. This method makes it a bit difficult to come up with an accurate temperature. Thermal imaging may display a visual picture making it possible to compare temperatures over a large area. The method produces a static image of infrared radiation, and because of this may not be a viable tool to evaluate the regulatory capability of the body. CRT, on the other hand, can provide a precise measurement of temperature using a probe on the skin. Instead of an infra-red image, the output of CRT is a computerized graph. This method relies on a cold stimulus challenge with measurements taken on skin temperature prior to and after the cold stimulus. Since it entails the use of a cold stimulus challenge, CRT is able to measure the regulatory capability of targeted tissues, glands, and organs.
Infrared thermal imaging and CRT both are non-invasive diagnostic tools. The two have the ability to detect abnormal temperature anomaly.
The CRT Procedure
CRT uses measurement of the skin temperature twice at 119 different points on the skin. During the procedure, the patient initially doesn’t need to undress. He sits for 10 – 15 minutes in a room with a 20°C – 23° C while his/her body gets used to the temperature. The technician starts taking measurements by the gentle touch of a probe that measures temperature on certain points of the patient’s neck and face. The patient then is told to take out his/her clothes from the waist up, in order to measure temperature on the chest, arms, chest, lower, and upper stomach, breast, and back. Afterwards, the patient is told to remove the rest of his/her clothing except the underwear and stand for 10 minutes in the cool room air with arms at their side. The temperature regulation process of the body is challenged by exposure to the cold. While still undressed, the 119 same points are again measured to finish the test.
The CRT 2000® is a new generation computerized diagnostic machine that can assess input data and based on the gathered data give a graphic illustration of the thermal measurements as well as an interpretation of the results. Its computer program also evaluates and prints out several different interpretive indices.
Contact regulation thermography is simple and safe to use. No invasive procedures such as radioactive dyes, venous access, or ionizing radiation are used in this technology. The patient experiences absolutely no discomfort or harm during the examination phase that involves the use of a temperature probe to the body.