This study presents age- and body region-specific normative data for thermal threshold testing and investigates the factors which may influence the reference values. Normative data presented in this study can be easily applied in clinical practice.
Thermal QST is a useful tool for assessment of small fibers function and therefore can be used for small fiber neuropathies diagnosis and monitoring.
Clinically useful, age- and body region-specific normative data for thermal QST was collected from large population (101 healthy volunteers), for hand and foot, for warm and cold sensation modalities. Data was collected by three operators, using two different TSA II systems. Warm and cold sensation thresholds were assessed using a method of Limits with standard parameters – baseline temperature 32˚C, temperature changing rate of 1˚C per second. Each modality was measured five times at each site, with 4-6 sec between trials; warm detection threshold was followed by cold detection threshold.
Additional study was performed on 10 subjects, using the two TSA II machines, by a single operator, so that all the subjects were tested by both machines. This small study demonstrated that there is no difference between the data collected on different TSA II machines.
This study demonstrates the influence of the age and body region on normal values and presents normative data for thermal QST, which can be easily applied in clinical practice, contributing to the usage of thermal QST for diagnosis and monitoring of small fiber neuropathies.