early diagnosis, pressure injury, prevention and control, risk assessment, skin care, temperature mapping



  1. Baron, Miriam Viviane PhD
  2. Hernandes Martins, Paulo Ricardo MB
  3. Brandenburg, Cristine PhD
  4. Koepp, Janine PhD
  5. Reinheimer, Isabel Cristina MSc
  6. dos Santos, Amanda Correa MB
  7. dos Santos, Michele Paula MB
  8. Mantilla Santamaria, Andres Felipe MD
  9. Miliou, Thomas MBA
  10. da Costa, Bartira Ercilia Pinheiro PhD


OBJECTIVE: To verify the accuracy of thermographic images in the early detection of pressure injury (PI) in adult patients.


DATA SOURCES: Between March 2021 and May 2022, researchers searched 18 databases for relevant articles using nine keywords. In total, 755 studies were evaluated.


STUDY SELECTION: Eight studies were included in the review. Studies were included if they evaluated individuals older than 18 years who were admitted to any healthcare setting; were published in English, Spanish, or Portuguese; examined the accuracy of thermal imaging in the early detection of PI, including suspected stage 1 PI or deep tissue injury; and they compared the region of interest to another area or control group, or to the Braden Scale or Norton Scale. Animal studies and reviews, studies with contact infrared thermography, and those including stages 2, 3, 4, and unstageable PIs were excluded.


DATA EXTRACTION: Researchers examined sample characteristics and assessment measures related to image capture, including environmental, individual, and technical factors.


DATA SYNTHESIS: Across the included studies, sample sizes ranged from 67 to 349 participants, and patients were followed up for periods ranging from a single assessment up to 14 days, or until the appearance of a PI, discharge, or death. Evaluation with the infrared thermography identified temperature differentials between regions of interest and/or in comparison with risk assessment scales.


CONCLUSIONS: Evidence on the accuracy of thermographic imaging in the early detection of PI is limited.