Raised body temperature in the feet of people with rheumatoid arthritis
New research shows that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have significantly higher body temperatures than people without joint disease. The subjects examined were in remission, i.e. they had low disease activity, during the study.
A new study has examined the body temperature in the feet of 32 people with RA who were in remission and compared the results with a control group of 51 people who do not have rheumatoid arthritis. This study was carried out using a so-called thermographic examination of different parts of the feet. Medical thermography is an examination using a thermal camera to detect, for example, inflammation, injuries or altered blood circulation.
The results showed a significant difference in temperatures in all regions of the fore-foot between people with rheumatoid arthritis in remission and the control group. The study's lead author, Alfred Gatt of the UK’s Staffordshire University's Center for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies, says the study forms the basis for future studies to assess whether thermographic patterns change with disease activity.
According to Gatt, these findings provide evidence that body temperature in people with RA differs significantly from healthy people. Thermal cameras may have the potential to be a complement to assessing disease activity in patients with RA in the future.
Gatt A, Mercieca C, Borg A, Grech A, Camilleri L, Gatt C, Chockalingam N, Formosa C. (2019) A comparison of thermographic characteristics of the hands and wrists of rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy controls.