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J Pediatr. 2012 Nov;161(5):892-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.04.056. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Thermal imaging to assess age-related changes of skin temperature within the supraclavicular region co-locating with brown adipose tissue in healthy children.

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  • 1The Early Life Nutrition Research Unit, Academic Division of Child Health, School of Clinical Sciences, University Hospital, Nottingham, United Kingdom.



To establish the feasibility of infrared thermal imaging as a reproducible, noninvasive method for assessing changes in skin temperature within the supraclavicular region in vivo.


Thermal imaging was used to assess the effect of a standard cool challenge (by placement of the participant's feet or hand in water at 20°C) on the temperature of the supraclavicular region in healthy volunteer participants of normal body mass index in 3 age groups, 3-8, 13-18, and 35-58 years of age.


We demonstrated a highly localized increase in temperature within the supraclavicular region together with a significant age-related decline under both baseline and stimulated conditions.


Thermogenesis within the supraclavicular region can be readily quantified by thermal imaging. This noninvasive imaging technique now has the potential to be used to assess brown adipose tissue function alone, or in combination with other techniques, in order to determine the roles of thermogenesis in energy balance and, therefore, obesity prevention.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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