Objective: Our aim was to measure plantar skin temperature using an innovative diagnostic device; thereby identifying early diabetes-related foot complications such as ulceration and Charcot foot.
Materials and Methods: The innovative portable device is a box with an inclination on upper side to place foot on a temperature sensitive mat connected to a microprocessor. Readings are recorded at 5 predefined areas, viz. ball of the great toe, 1st and 5th meta-tarsals, lateral arch and heel on both feet with patients in sitting position placing their feet on the mat for 30 seconds.105 patients; 83 diabetes [15 with diabetic neuropathy - symptoms or signs (DN) and 68 patients without DN] and 22 nondiabetes aged 24-80 years visiting Shahade Hospital OPD during last 6 months were included. Patients with skin diseases, edema, ulcer and known neurological illness were excluded.
Results: 78% of DN patients recorded higher temperature at the predefined areas. Diabetes patients with DN had 0.36°C higher plantar skin temperature (mean difference) compared to nondiabetes patients. Mean difference in temperature for DN patients on left foot was (0.20°C, 0.29°C, 0.52°C, 0.37°C, 0.53°C) and right (0.02°C, 0.44°C, 0.39°C, 0.29°C, 0.54°C), respectively. Diabetes patients without DN had 0.18°C higher temperature compared to nondiabetes patients. DN patients had diabetes of 9.67 ± 5.46 years with HbA1c of 9.8 ± 2.8%; duration of diabetes in patients without DN was 7.26 ± 5.64 years with HbA1c 7.23 ± 1.23%. The device also noted that 64.4% of diabetes patients without DN or any symptoms of DN were having higher temperature at predefined areas compared to nondiabetics, which warrants further monitoring.
Conclusions: The innovative device is precise for sensing plantar skin temperature change that could help clinicians in monitoring diabetes related foot complications. The device is handy, reliable, and gives instantaneous results that will aid self-monitoring by patients and care givers.
A.A. Shahade: None. A.A. Shahade: None. A.M. Shahade: None. S.P. Wagh: Employee; Self; Biocon. S. Ozarkar: None.