diathermy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to diathermy: surgical diathermy

diathermy

(dī`əthûr'mē), therapeutic measure used in medicine to generate heat in the body tissues. Electrodes and other instruments are used to transmit electric current to surface structures, thereby increasing the local blood circulation and facilitating and accelerating the process of absorption and repair. Diathermy is used for arthritis, bursitis, and other disorders of the tendons and muscles, as well as for certain other conditions requiring tissue repair. Because of the high-frequency current used in shortwave diathermy, care must be taken to avoid burning the patient's skin or injuring the deeper tissues.

Diathermy

 

(also endothermy, thermopenetration), one of the methods of electrotherapy that involves heating organs and tissues of the organism with high-frequency currents. The method was introduced into medical practice in 1905 by the Czech doctor R. von Zeynek. The term “diathermy” was proposed by the German doctor K. F. Nagelschmidt, who was working on the method at the same time. A strong current (up to 3 A) of high frequency (1.65 MHz) is used for diathermy.

The amount of heat created in the organism is proportional to the square of the strength of the current passing through the conductor (tissues of the organism), the electrical resistance of the tissues, and the duration of the current. Therefore, a current of great strength is required if intensive heating of the tissues is needed. However, a strong direct or low-frequency current irritates sensitive nerves (sensations of pain). By increasing the frequency the irritating action of a strong current is reduced and practically disappears at a current of 3 A and a frequency of 1 MHz. The body’s tissues and organs do not have the same electrical conductivity. Because the skin, fat, bones, and muscles have the greatest resistance, they heat up the most, while organs rich in blood or lymph, such as the lungs, liver, and lymph nodes, have the least resistance and heat up less.

High-frequency currents cause nonthermal (that is, specific) processes in the organism, the nature of which has not been clarified. It is hypothesized that the current causes the cell ions to shift to the borders of the cells. When a certain maximum concentration of ions is along the borders, the cell’s colloids precipitate out, and the cell passes to an excited state. The specific processes are more evident at a comparatively lower current frequency; at greater frequency, the thermal effect is more strongly marked. The action of diathermy is manifested in physiological reactions. The activity of the autonomous nervous system increases, which is expressed in intensified lymph and blood circulation and increased metabolism (in this case the body temperature may rise by 0.1°-0.2°C). Leucocyte activity also increases, especially in the area subjected to diathermy. The skeletal muscles and muscles of the internal organs relax, and the threshold of excitation of the sensory nerves increases. Therefore diathermy is used in the treatment of diseases based on spasms of the blood vessels, the urinary tract, the bile ducts, the gall bladder and other cavity organs as well as for chronic nonpurulent inflammatory diseases, inflammations of the nerves and their roots, neuralgias, and muscle, joint, and other pains.

REFERENCES

Obrosov, A. N. Fizioterapevticheskaia tekhnika. Moscow, 1945.
Kowarschik, J. Diatermiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931. (Translated from German.)
Liventsev, N. M. Elektromeditsinskaia apparatura, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Rukovodstvo po fizioterapii i fizioprofilaktike detskikh zabolevanii. Edited by A. N. Obrosov and K. V. Lapina. Moscow, 1968.

V. G. IASNOGORODSKII

diathermy

[′dī·ə‚thər·mē]
(medicine)
The therapeutic use of high-frequency electric currents to produce localized heat in body tissues.
References in periodicals archive ?
2 ml for monopolar cautery in Burton and Doree and 36 ml in dissection as opposed to 12 ml in diathermy group in the review article by Pinder et al11,12.
A partial failure of the SMD technique could result if the diathermy needle did not reach the posterior end of the inferior turbinate.
Many different reduction techniques have been applied intending to increase nasal airway passages, such as total or partial turbinectomy, turbinoplasty, submucosal diathermy, radiofrequency coblation technique, cryosurgery and laser treatment.
The number of hemorrhages occurring was greater in the diathermy coagulation' group as compared to the silk ligation' group.
Conclusion: There was a high level of ignorance regarding current and established principles of diathermy use among surgical trainees at the Civil Hospital Karachi.
Secondly, the contact with the metalwork could lead to burns during the use of diathermy.
The animal was subjected to shortwave diathermy therapy (200 mA intensity, frequencies of 27.
As is commonly practiced, the surgeon in question routinely held the diathermy forceps between thumb and index finger, with the apex of the instrument resting on the dorsal aspect of his first web space (Fig.
1 times the overall rate of hemorrhage in bipolar diathermy tonsillectomy as compared to cold steel, and add to the growing body of evidence in favor of partial techniques over traditional complete techniques, as well as the concurrent use of both sharp instruments and electrocautery as opposed to electrocautery alone," Dr.
Sarah Whelpton, 30, claims she may have been burnt by a diathermy pad as she gave birth to baby boy Leighton at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Ask you doctor about deep heat treatments using a diathermy machine or ultrasound.