Thermal Field Monitoring When Exposing Soft Tissues to Low Temperatures: Thermography Prospects and Limitations




low-temperature exposure, cryosurgery, soft tissues, intra-operative temperature control, thermography


The review analyzes the existing tools for monitoring the dynamics of thermal fi elds when exposing the soft tissues to low temperatures. Features of contact and non-contact temperature measurements have been considered, their capabilities and limitations have been noted. There was substantiated the need to develop the procedures of intra-operative temperature control. Special attention has been paid to the non-contact non-invasive infrared thermography. This method has been shown to be applied for intra-operative monitoring of the movement of the ice lump edge on the surface of tissues, detection of a disordered thermal symmetry of the ice spot, thermal fi eld dynamics on the surface of tissues inside and outside the area of the operative zone. However, thermal imaging control of the dynamics of the primary necrosis zone and the ice ball edge in the volume of tissues is possible only under certain parameters of cryoimpact, for example, with a short-term cooling of tissues with a quasi-point nitrogen cryoapplicator. The possibility of using thermography at other stages of cryosurgery is also considered, i. e. as the method of additional diagnosis at the stage of surgery planning, as well as during the post-surgery period to control healing, scarring, etc.


Probl Cryobiol Cryomed 2024; 34(1):003–018

Author Biographies

Gennadiy O. Kovalov, Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kharkiv

Department of Experimental Cryomedicine

Mykola O. Chyzh, Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kharkiv

Department of Experimental Cryomedicine

Vyacheslav Yu. Globa, Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kharkiv

Department of Experimental Cryomedicine


Abramovits W. Tissue temperature monitors. In: Abramovits W, Graham G, Har-Shai Y, Strumia R, editors. Dermatological Cryosurgery and Cryotherapy. London: Springer; 2016; p. 135-6. CrossRef

Ammer K. Influence of imaging and object conditions on temperature readings from medical infrared images. Polish J Environ Stud. 2006; 15(4A): 117-9.

Ammer K. The Glamorgan Protocol for recording and evaluation of thermal images of the human body. Review Thermol Int. 2008; 18(4): 125-9.

Ammer K, Ring E. Standard procedures for infrared imaging in medicine. In: Diakides M, Bronzino JD, Peterson DR, editors. Chapter 22, Medical Infrared Imaging. Principles and Practice. New York: CRC Press; 2017; p. 32.1-32.14. CrossRef

Aquilanti V, Coutinho ND, Carvalho-Silva VH. Kinetics of low-temperature transitions and a reaction rate theory from non-equilibrium distributions. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. [Internet]. 2017 March 20 [Cited 2023 Nov 13] 375(2092): 20160201. Available from: CrossRef

Bischof JC, Mahr B, Choi JH, et al. Use of X-ray tomography to map crystalline and amorphous phases in frozen biomaterials. Ann Biomed En. 2007; 35(2): 292-304. CrossRef

Brymill Cryogenics Systems. Cry-Ac Tracker Cam. Instruction for use. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 13]. Available from:

Cetingül MP, Herman C. A heat transfer model of skin tissue for the detection of lesions: sensitivity analysis. Phys Med Biol. 2010; 55(19): 5933-51. CrossRef

Choi B, Milner TE, Kim J, et al. Use of optical coherence tomography to monitor biological tissue freezing during cryosurgery. J Biomed Opt. 2004; 9(2): 282-6. CrossRef

Cohen EEW, Ahmed O, Kocherginsky M, et al. Study of functional infrared imaging for early detection of mucositis in locally advanced head and neck cancer treated with chemoradiotherapy. Oral Oncol. 2013; 49 (10): 1025-31. CrossRef

Cooper SM, Dawber RPR. The history of cryosurgery. J R Soc Med. 2001; 94(4): 196-201. CrossRef

Costello JT, McInerney CD, Bleakley CM, et al. The use of thermal imaging in assessing skin temperature following cryotherapy: a review. J Therm Biol. 2012; 37(2): 103-110. CrossRef

Deng Z-S, Liu J, Wang H-W. Disclosure of the significant thermal effects of large blood vessels during cryosurgery through infrared temperature mapping. Int J Therm Sci. 2008; 47: 530-45. CrossRef

Diakides NA, Bronzino JD. Medical infrared imaging. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2007. 448 p. CrossRef

Edd JF, Horowitz L, Rubinsky B. Temperature dependence of tissue impedivity in electrical impedance tomography of cryosurgery. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2005; 52(4): 695-701. CrossRef

Evolution Sensors and Controls LLC (USA). Thermocouple Sensors. [Internet]. [Cited 2023 Nov 13]. Available from:

FLIR Product Catalog 2018. [Internet]. 2018 March 11 [cited 2023 Nov 13]. Available from:

Gage AA, Augustynowicz S, Montes M, et al. Tissue impedance and temperature measurements in relation to necrosis in experimental cryosurgery. Cryobiology. 1985; 22(3):282-8. CrossRef

Gage AA, Caruana JA. Current flow in skin frozen in experimental cryosurgery. Cryobiology. 1980; 17(2): 154-60. CrossRef

Gage AA, Caruana JA, Garamy G. A comparison of instrument methods of monitoring freezing in cryosurgery. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1983; 9(3): 209-14. CrossRef

Gilbert J, Rubinsky B, Roos MS, et al. MRI-monitored cryosurgery in the rabbit brain. Magn Reson Imaging. 1993; 11(8): 1155-64. CrossRef

Glushchuk M, Shustakova G, Gordiyenko E, et al. Thermal imaging study of human soft tissue lesions and biological tissue exposure to low-temperature in vivo. Sci innov. [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 1 [cited 2024 Feb. 3]; 18(6): 83-96. Available from: CrossRef

Gurjarpadhye AA, Parekh MB, Dubnika A, et al. Infrared imaging tools for diagnostic applications in dermatology. Review. SM J Clin Med Imaging. 2015; 1(1): 1-5. Available from: PubMed

Hafid M, Lacroix M. Fast inverse prediction of the freezing front in cryosurgery. Review. J Therm Biol. 2017; 69: 13-22. CrossRef

Hamblin MR, Avci P, Gupta GK. Imaging in Dermatology. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press; 2016. 560 p. CrossRef

Herman C, Cetingul MP. Quantitative visualization and detection of skin cancer using dynamic thermal imaging. J Vis Exp. [Internet]. 2011 May 5 [Cited 2023 Nov13]; 51: e2679. Available from: CrossRef

Hoffmann NE, Bischof JC. Cryosurgery of normal and tumour tissue in the dorsal skin flap chamber: Part I - Thermal Response. J Biomech Eng. 2001; 123(4): 301-9. CrossRef

Hoffmann NE, Bischof JC. Cryosurgery of normal and tumour tissue in the dorsal skin flap chamber: Part II - InjuryResponse. J Biomech Eng. 2001; 123(4): 310-6. CrossRef

Jiang LJ, Ng EY, Yeo AC, et al. A perspective on medical infrared imaging. Review. J Med Eng Technol. 2005; 29(6): 257-67. CrossRef

Kiporenko PV, Gordiyenko EYu, Fomenko YuV, Shustakova GV. The procedure for measurement of the human temperature field dynamics. Ukrainian Metrological Journal. 2018; (3): 62-6. CrossRef

Korpan NN, Chefranov SG. Estimation of the stable frozen zone volume and the extent of contrast for a therapeutic substance. Wang J, editor. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 Sep 17 [Cited 2023 Nov 13]; 15(9): e0238929. Available from: CrossRef

Kovalov GO, Gordiyenko EYu, Fomenko YuV, et al. Dynamics of freezing and warming of soft tissues with short-term effect on skin with cryoapplicator. Probl Cryobiol Cryomed. 2020; 30(4):359-68. CrossRef

Kovalov GO, Shustakova GV, Gordiyenko EYu, et al. Infrared thermal imaging controls freezing and warming in skin cryoablation. Cryobiology. 2021; 103: 32-8. CrossRef

Lahiri BB, Bagavathiappan S, Jayakumar T, Philip J. Medical applications of infrared thermography. Review. Infrared Phys Technol. 2012; 55(4): 221-35. CrossRef

Laugier P, Laplace E, Lefaix J-I, Berger G. In vivo results with a new device for ultrasonic monitoring of pig skin cryosurgery: the echographic cryoprobe. J Invest Dermatol. 1998; 111: 314-9. CrossRef

Liu J, Deng Z-S. Nano-Cryosurgery: Advances and Challenges. JNN. 2009; 9(8): 4521-42. CrossRef

Lutz NW, Bernard V. Contactless thermometry by MRI and MRS: advanced methods for thermotherapy and biomaterials. iScience [Internet]. 2020 Oct 23 [Cited 2023 Nov 13]; 23(10): 101561. Available from: CrossRef

Mabuchi K, Chinzei T, Fujimasa I, et al. Evaluating asymmetrical thermal distributions through image processing. IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag. 1998; 17 (4): 47-55. CrossRef

Mala T, Edwin B, Samset E, et al. Magnetic-resonance-guided percutaneous cryoablation of hepatic tumours. Eur J Surg. 2001; 167(8): 610-7. CrossRef

Mala Т, Samset E, Aurdal L, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging estimated three-dimensional temperature distribution in liver cryolesions: a study of cryolesion characteristics assumed necessary for tumor ablation. Cryobiology 2001; 43: 268-75. CrossRef

Matos F, Neves EB, Norte M, et al. The use of thermal imaging to monitoring skin temperature during cryotherapy: a systematic review. Infrared Phys Technol. 2015; 73: 194-203. CrossRef

Onik GM, Reyes G, Cohen JK, Porterfi eld B. Ultrasound characteristics of renal cryosurgery. Urology. 1993; 42(2): 212-5. CrossRef

Overduin CG, Fütterer JJ, Scheenen TWJ. 3D MR thermometry of frozen tissue: feasibility and accuracy during cryoablation at 3T. J Magn Reson Imag. 2016; 44: 1572-9. CrossRef

Pasquali P. Cryosurgery. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2015. 315 p.

Popken F, Seifert JK, Engelmann R, et al. Comparison of iceball diameter and temperature distribution achieved with 3-mm accuprobe cryoprobes in porcine and human liver tissue and human colorectal liver metastases in vitro. Cryobiology. 2000; 40(4): 302-10. CrossRef

Ravikumar NS, Kane R, Cady B, et al. Hepatic cryosurgery with intraoperative ultrasound monitoring for metastatic colon carcinoma. Arch Surg. 1987: 122: 403-9. CrossRef

Ring EFJ, Ammer K. The technique of infrared imaging in medicine. In: Ring F, Jung A, Żuber J, editors. Infrared Imaging. A casebook in clinical medicine. Bristol: IoP Publishing Ltd; 2015. P. 1-1-1-10. CrossRef

Samset E, Mala T, Edwin B, et al. Validation of estimated 3D temperature maps during hepatic cryosurgery. Magn Reson Imaging. 2001; 19: 715-21. CrossRef

Santa-Cruz GA, Bertotti J, Marín J, et al. Dynamic infrared imaging of cutaneous melanoma and normal skin in patients treated with BNCT. Appl Radiat Isot. 2009; 67(7-8): S54-S58. CrossRef

Song J, Li C, Wu L, et al. MRI-guided brain tumor cryoablation in a rabbit model. JMRI. 2009; 29(3): 545-51. CrossRef

Tacke J, Speetzen R, Heschel I, et al. Imaging of interstitial cryotherapy - an in vitro comparison of ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Cryobiology. 1999; 38(3): 250-9. CrossRef

Vellard M, Arfaoui A. Detection by infrared thermography of the effect of local cryotherapy exposure on thermal spreadin skin. J Imaging [Internet]. 2016 June 13 [cited 2023 Nov 13]; 2(2): 20. Available from: CrossRef

Whittingham TA. Medical diagnostic applications and sources. Review. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2007; 93 (1-3): 84-110. CrossRef

Yan J-F, Wang H-W, Liu J, et al. Feasibility study on using an infrared thermometer for evaluation and administration of cryosurgery. Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2007; 16(3): 173-80. CrossRef

Zacarian SA. Cryosurgery of skin cancer - in proper perspective. J Dermatol Surg. 1975; 1(3): 33-8. CrossRef

Zacarian SA, Adham MI. Cryogenic temperature studies of human skin. Temperature recordings at two millimeter human skin depth following application with liquid nitrogen. J Invest Dermatol. 1967; 48(1): 7-10. CrossRef

Zhmakin AI. Fundamentals of cryobiology. Physical phenomena and mathematical models. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2009. 278 p. CrossRef

Zimmerman EE, Crawford P. Cutaneous cryosurgery. Am Fam Physician. 2012; 86: 1118-24. PubMed




How to Cite

Kovalov, G., Chyzh, M., Globa, V., Shustakova, G., Fomenko, Y., & Gordiyenko, E. (2024). Thermal Field Monitoring When Exposing Soft Tissues to Low Temperatures: Thermography Prospects and Limitations. Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine, 34(1), 3–18.