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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Apr;98(15):e15084. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015084.

Changes in facial temperature measured by digital infrared thermal imaging in patients after transnasal sphenopalatine ganglion block: Retrospective observational study.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Inha University, School of Medicine, Incheon.
Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon.
Office of Biostatistics, Ajou Research Institute for Innovative Medicine, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Ajou University, School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea.


Sphenopalatine ganglion block (SPGB) is a technique developed in the 1990s for the management of head and neck pain patients. Recently, transnasal sphenopalatine ganglion block (TN-SPGB) has been widely used for these patients; however, no objective methods exist for validating the success of TN-SPGB. In this study, we measured the changes in facial temperature before and 30 minutes after TN-SPGB by using digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) to validate its success.The medical records of patients, who underwent TN-SPGB and facial DITI between January 2016 and December 2017, were reviewed. TN-SPGB and facial DITI were performed 36 times in 32 patients. The changes in facial temperatures measured at the forehead (V1), maxillary area (V2), and mandibular area (V3) by using DITI before and 30 minutes after TN-SPGB were recorded and compared. The temperatures on the ipsilateral and contralateral sides of these areas were also compared. The comparison between pain relief group and pain maintenance group was analyzed.After TN-SPGB, the temperature decreased significantly on both sides of V1 (P = .0208, 0.0181). No significant differences were observed between the ipsilateral and contralateral sides (P > .05). There was no correlation between changes in temperature and changes in pain score in the pain regions after the procedure (P > .05).The temperature decreased significantly in V1 area at 30 minutes after TN-SPGB compared with the temperature before TN-SPGB. Based on these results, we propose using DITI to measure temperature changes as an objective method for verifying the success of TN-SPGB.

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