Biomedical Research

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Providing a model for the diagnosis of varicocele in the scrotum thermal images

Varicocele disorder is defined as a form of abnormal dilation and tortuosity of venous plexus (venous) noticeable above the testicles. The main patterns of the level of abnormal heat distribution in the scrotum can be detected by the help of thermal imaging. It should be noted that Thermal Imaging is widely considered as a distant, non-contact, and non-invasive bunch of procedures for the detection of a wide array of diseases. Adopting a non-contact infrared camera (SDS Hotfind L) and by taking images of 50 patients with varicocele, the potentialities of thermography were probed and assessed. In two cases, by means of heat distribution, varicocele was identified through a thermal camera; one included thermal asymmetry and increased temperature in venous plexus (pampiniform) and no thermal increase in the testicle of the same side (It is grade II of varicocele with a temperature difference around 1°C), and the other increased temperature of venous plexus (pampiniform) as well as the increased temperature of the testicle of the same side (It is grade III of varicocele with a temperature difference around 1.5°C). In the same line, the accuracy of detection of thermography is 76% in grades of varicocele. Moreover, the accuracy of recognition of thermography through the convolution neural network is 71%. Based on the results of this research, thermography can be an applicative method for initial screening and can be adopted as a supplementary technique to other diagnostic techniques due to lack of exposure, being of low cost, and providing a relatively appropriate diagnosis in varicocele.

Author(s): Farshad Namdari, Masoomeh Dadpay, Morteza Hamidi, Hossein Ghayoumi Zadeh