Dermatology: An analysis of tumor-related skin temperature differences in malignant soft-tissue tumors

Short summary of the thermography research

Background: Soft tissue tumors are often accompanied with elevated skin temperature; however, studies concerning the relationship between soft-tissue tumors and skin temperature elevation are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the clinical significance of skin temperature elevation in soft-tissue tumors and identify factors related to skin temperature elevation.

Patients and methods: This study comprised 118 patients at our hospital with soft-tissue tumors, excluding lipomatous tumors, whose pathological diagnosis was surgically confirmed between February 2017 and March 2021. Sixty-one and 57 patients had been diagnosed with benign lesions and malignant tumors, respectively (men, 64; women, 54; median age, 61 [range, 20-92] years). The relationship between skin temperature, monitored using a thermography camera, and the presence of soft-tissue malignancy was investigated. We reviewed clinical data to identify factors related to elevated skin temperature.

Results: Temperature differences ≥ 0.2 °C compared to the unaffected side were significantly associated with the presence of malignant tumors (p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis indicated that intertumoral blood supply was associated with elevated skin temperature (OR 3.22, 95% CI 2.03-5.13; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Elevated skin temperature, influenced by intertumoral blood supply, may be an important adjunct to physical findings when diagnosing malignant soft-tissue tumors.

Clinical relevance: Intertumoral blood supply influenced elevated skin temperature in malignant soft-tissue tumors. A skin temperature difference ≥ 0.2 °C compared to the unaffected side can help differentiate between benign and malignant tumors. Skin temperature differences may help in diagnosing malignant soft-tissue tumors.

Keywords: Blood supply; Cancer screening; Skin temperature; Soft tissue tumor; Thermography.

Shimatani A, Hoshi M, Oebisu N, Takada N, Ban Y, Nakamura H. An analysis of tumor-related skin temperature differences in malignant soft-tissue tumors. Int J Clin Oncol. 2022 Jan;27(1):234-243. doi: 10.1007/s10147-021-02044-1. Epub 2021 Oct 10. Erratum in: Int J Clin Oncol. 2021 Oct 17;: PMID: 34628566; PMCID: PMC8502238.

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