Changes with time in skin temperature of the shoulders in healthy controls and a patient with shoulder-hand syndrome

Yoichi Koike, Hirotaka Sano, Itaru Imamura, Masako Goto, Masamizu Ooyama, Atushi Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Abnormal skin temperature in the shoulder is caused by various diseases. A thermography is unable to capture temperature changes over time. In contrast, a Thermocron is an effective measuring device to monitor temperature changes over time. Purposes. The purposes of this study employing a Thermocron were to measure shoulder skin temperature over time in healthy subjects and to detect shoulder skin temperature abnormalities in a patient with shoulder-hand syndrome. Subjects and methods. Subjects comprised 10 healthy volunteers (20 shoulders; 4 men and 6 women, mean age 54 years). For measurements, a Thermocron was attached on both shoulders. Measurements were made from 21.00 to 07.00 the following morning at 15-minute intervals. Results. Gradual difference in right and left shoulder skin temperature was observed with the timing of measurements but no significant difference was apparent, i.e. dominant side 34.9 ± 0.8°C, non-dominant side 34.9 ± 0.9°C (P = 0.28). Presentation of a case with shoulder-hand syndrome. A 54-year-old woman with the diagnosis of rotator cuff tear underwent surgical treatment of rotator cuff repair, but the pain of the operated shoulder persisted due to phase 1 shoulder-hand syndrome. In postoperative week 3, skin temperature measurement using Thermocrons demonstrated a significant decrease in temperature on the operated side (affected side 34.3 ± 0.4°C, healthy side 35.2 ± 0.3°C; P < 0.05). Conclusion. The changing of the skin temperature during night-time was successfully recorded both in the healthy subjects and a case with shoulder-hand syndrome using a Thermocron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalUpsala Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • rotator cuff surgery
  • shoulder-hand syndrome (SHS)
  • skin temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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