Dr Kevin Howell

What is microvascular disease?
What is microvascular disease

Dr Kevin Howell

Clinical Scientist, Rheumatology

Dr. Kevin Howell


Dr Kevin Howell
Institute of Immunity and Transplantation
Microvascular Diagnostics
Royal Free Hospital
Rowland Hill Street
London NW3 2PF
k.howell [at] ucl.ac.uk
T. +44 (0)20 7472 6550

Research area

Microvascular imaging, infrared thermography, nailfold capillaroscopy, connective tissue diseases, Raynaud's phenomenon, thermoregulation.

Research summary

The Institute's Microvascular Diagnostics laboratory was established to give clinicians and researchers a "window" on the microcirculation in autoimmune and other disorders. Our key research interests are Raynaud's phenomenon and the scleroderma spectrum disorders. We typically see around 500 patients per year to assist in clinical diagnosis, and we support research where skin temperature or change in the microvasculature would be an interesting outcome measure. Microvascular Diagnostics has gained particular expertise in infrared thermography: the laboratory has two thermal imagers and I sit on the board of the European Association of Thermology. The Medical Infrared Thermography London forum (or "MIRTL") arranges seminars at the Institute, and we can support thermographers in London with our quality assurance programme for thermal imagers used in biomedicine.

Recent publications

Soroko M, Dudek K, Howell K, Jodkowska E, Henklewski R. Thermographic evaluation of racehorse performance J Eq Vet Sci 2014;34 (9):1076–83

Allen J, Howell K. Microvascular imaging: techniques and opportunities for clinical physiological measurements. Physiol Meas. 2014 Jul;35(7):R91-R141

Cregg R, Laguda B, Werdehausen R, Cox JJ, Linley JE, Ramirez JD, Bodi I, Markiewicz M, Howell KJ, Chen YC, Agnew K, Houlden H, Lunn MP, Bennett DL, Wood JN, Kinali M. Novel mutations mapping to the fourth sodium channel domain of Nav1.7 result in variable clinical manifestations of primary erythromelalgia. Neuromolecular Med. 2013 Jun;15(2):265-78

Richards RE, Allen J, Howell KJ, Smith RE. Evaluation of three thermal imaging cameras for skin temperature measurement using a blackbody reference source and a spatial resolution test object. Thermology International 2013;23:17-23.

Howell KJ, Collier JM. Thermography of facial skin temperature in healthy subjects during cooling of the face with hilotherapy. Thermology International 2012;22/3 (Appendix 1):109-113.

Moinzadeh P, Nihtyanova SI, Howell K, Ong VH, Denton CP.Impact of Hallmark Autoantibody Reactivity on Early Diagnosis in Scleroderma.  Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology 2012;43/3:249-55

Older publications

Howell KJ, Smith RE. Guidelines for specifying and testing a thermal camera for medical applications. Thermology International 2009;19:5-12.

Howell KJ, Lavorato A, Visentin M, Smith RE, Schaefer G, Jones CD, Weibel L, Denton CP, Harper JI, Woo P. Validation of a protocol for the assessment of skin temperature and blood flow in childhood localised scleroderma. Skin Research and Technology 2009;15:346-356.

Simpson RC, McEvoy HC, Machin G, Howell K, Naeem M, Plassmann P, Ring F, Campbell P, Song C, Tavener J, Ridley I. In-field-of-view thermal image calibration system for medical thermography applications. Int J Thermophys 2008 ;29 :1123-1130.

Weibel L, Howell KJ, Visentin M, Rudiger A, Denton CP, Zulian F, Woo P, Harper JI. Laser Doppler flowmetry for assessing localized scleroderma in children. Arthritis Rheum 2007;56:3489-3495.

Cherkas LF, Williams FMK, Carter L, Howell K, Black CM, Spector TD, MacGregor AJ. Heritability of Raynaud's phenomenon and vascular responsiveness to cold: a study of adult female twins. Arthritis Rheum 2007;57:524-528.

Weibel L, Sampaio MC, Visentin MT, Howell KJ, Woo P, Harper JI. Evaluation of methotrexate and corticosteroids for the treatment of localized scleroderma (morphoea) in children. Br J Dermatol 2006;55:1013-1020

Cherkas LF, Carter L, Spector TD, Howell KJ, Black CM, MacGregor AJ. Use of thermographic criteria to identify Raynaud’s phenomenon in a population setting. J Rheumatol. 2003 Apr; 30(4): 720-2

Martini G, Murray KJ, Howell KJ, Harper J, Atherton D, Woo P, Zulian F, Black CM. Juvenile-onset localized scleroderma activity detection by infrared thermography. Rheumatology. 2002 Oct; 41(10): 1178-82

Cherkas LF, Howell K, Carter L, Black CM, MacGregor AJ. The use of portable radiometry to assess Raynaud’s phenomenon: a practical alternative to thermal imaging. Rheumatology. 2001 Dec; 40(12): 1384-7

Coleiro B, Marshall SE, Denton CP, Howell K, Blann A, Welsh KI, Black CM. Treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. Rheumatology. 2001 Sep; 40(9):1038-43

Howell KJ, Martini G, Murray KJ, Smith RE, Black CM. Infrared thermography for the assessment of localised scleroderma in children. Thermology International. 2000; 10(4): 204-9

Denton CP, Howell K, Stratton RJ, Black CM. Long-term low molecular weight heparin therapy for severe Raynaud’s phenomenon: a pilot study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2000 Jul-Aug; 18(4):499-502

Dziadzio M, Denton CP, Smith R, Howell K, Blann A, Bowers E, Black CM. Losartan therapy for Raynaud’s phenomenon and scleroderma: clinical and biochemical findings in a fifteen-week, randomized, parallel-group, controlled study. Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Dec; 42(12):2646-55

Denton CP, Bunce TD, Darado MB, Roberts Z, Wilson H, Howell K, Bruckdorfer KR, Black CM. Probucol improves symptoms and reduces lipoprotein oxidation susceptibility in patients with Raynaud’s phenomenon. Rheumatology. 1999 Apr; 38(4): 309-15

Howell KJ. Blood flow in skin as investigated by thermography and capillaroscopy. Rheumatology in Europe 1998; 27(3): 112-115

Stratton R, Howell K, Goddard N, Black C. Digital sympathectomy for ischaemia in scleroderma. Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Dec; 36(12): 1338-9

Howell K, Kennedy LF, Smith RE, Black CM. Temperature of the toes in Raynaud’s phenomenon measured using infra-red thermography. European Journal of Thermology 7(3): 132-137, 1997

Howell KJ. Practical aspects of laser-Doppler flowmetry. Project report for Master of Science in Medical Electronics and Physics in the University of London. September 1995.

Seifalian AM, Stansby G, Jackson A, Howell K, Hamilton G. Comparison of laser Doppler perfusion imaging, laser Doppler flowmetry and thermographic imaging for assessment of blood flow in human skin. Eur J Vasc Surg. 1994 Jan; 8(1):65-9

Seifalian AM, Howell K, Stansby G, Jackson AE, Hamilton G, Black CM. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging: a new technique for measuring skin blood flow in rheumatology. Br J Rheumatol. 1993 Oct; 32(10):938

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