Infrared dermal thermography on diabetic feet soles to predict ulcerations: A case study

Chanjuan Liu, Ferdi Van Der Heijden, Marvin E. Klein, Jeff G. Van Baal, Sicco A. Bus, Jaap J. Van Netten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetic foot ulceration is a major complication for patients with diabetes mellitus. If not adequately treated, these ulcers may lead to foot infection, and ultimately to lower extremity amputation, which imposes a major burden to society and great loss in health-related quality of life for patients. Early identification and subsequent preventive treatment have proven useful to limit the incidence of foot ulcers and lower extremity amputation. Thus, the development of new diagnosis tools has become an attractive option. The ultimate objective of our project is to develop an intelligent telemedicine monitoring system for frequent examination on patients' feet, to timely detect pre-signs of ulceration. Inflammation in diabetic feet can be an early and predictive warning sign for ulceration, and temperature has been proven to be a vicarious marker for inflammation. Studies have indicated that infrared dermal thermography of foot soles can be one of the important parameters for assessing the risk of diabetic foot ulceration. This paper covers the feasibility study of using an infrared camera, FLIR SC305, in our setup, to acquire the spatial thermal distribution on the feet soles. With the obtained thermal images, automated detection through image analysis was performed to identify the abnormal increased/decreased temperature and assess the risk for ulceration. The thermography for feet soles of patients with diagnosed diabetic foot complications were acquired before the ordinary foot examinations. Assessment from clinicians and thermography were compared and follow-up measurements were performed to investigate the prediction. A preliminary case study will be presented, indicating that dermal thermography in our proposed setup can be a screening modality to timely detect pre-signs of ulceration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems XI
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems XI - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 3 Feb 20135 Feb 2013

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE


ConferenceAdvanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Dermal Thermometry
  • Diabetic Foot Ulceration
  • Infrared Imaging
  • Pre-Ulceration Detection
  • Telemedicine
  • Temperature

Cite this