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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 4372617, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Pain Measurement through Temperature Changes in Children Undergoing Dental Extractions

1Coordinación para la Innovación y Aplicación de la Ciencia y la Tecnología, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Avenida Sierra Leona 550, 78210 San Luis Potosí, SLP, Mexico
2Departamento de Epidemiología Clínica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Avenida Venustiano Carranza 2405, 78210 San Luis Potosí, SLP, Mexico
3Posgrado de Estomatología Pediátrica, Facultad de Estomatología, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Avenida Manuel Nava 4, 78290 San Luis Potosí, SLP, Mexico

Received 7 September 2015; Accepted 29 December 2015

Copyright © 2016 Eleazar S. Kolosovas-Machuca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background and Objective. Pain evaluation in children can be a difficult task, since it possesses sensory and affective components that are often hard to discriminate. Infrared thermography has previously been used as a diagnostic tool for pain detection in animals; therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the presence of temperature changes during dental extractions and to evaluate its correlation with heart rate changes as markers of pain and discomfort. Methods. Thermographic changes in the lacrimal caruncle and heart rate measurements were recorded in healthy children scheduled for dental extraction before and during the procedure and compared. Afterwards, correlation between temperature and heart rate was assessed. Results. We found significant differences in temperature and heart rate before the procedure and during the dental extraction (mean difference 4.07°C, , and 18.11 beats per minute, ) and no evidence of correlation between both measurements. Conclusion. Thermographic changes in the lacrimal caruncle can be detected in patients who undergo dental extractions. These changes appear to be stable throughout time and to possess very little intersubject variation, thus making them a candidate for a surrogate marker of pain and discomfort. Future studies should be performed to confirm this claim.