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Definition : Instruments designed for measuring tactile sensation, sensitivity, pain, or thermal stimuli thresholds in order to diagnose sensorineural dysfunction such as hypoesthesia or hyperesthesia. They can be used to test different parts of the body (foot, hand, lip, cheek, etc.). Esthesiometers (also called anesthesiometers or anesthesimeters) are handheld probes through which sensation is measured by pressure applied through the esthesiometer's tips designed for different purposes. The tips are either monofilaments of varying lengths or diameters (used to quantify the pressure transmitted axially for a given bending stress), firm vinyl tips (used to measure sensory pain threshold), or semi-conductor heat pumps covered by a thin metal plate (used to measure heat sensation). Esthesiometers may be attached to systems to store and display test readings, and may be computer-controlled to limit the amount of pressure or heat applied to the test subject. They may also be non-powered handheld devices. Esthesiometers used to test cornea nerve sensitivity with a controlled pulse of air as stimulation are also available.

Entry Terms : "Anesthesimeters" , "Tactile Circumferential Discriminators" , "Monofilar Esthesiometers" , "Aesthesiometers" , "Neurological Discriminators"

UMDC code : 11604

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