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Quintessence Int 42 (2011), No. 8     15. July 2011
Quintessence Int 42 (2011), No. 8  (15.07.2011)

Page 659-667, PubMed:21842006


MRI of the TMJ: Morphometric comparison of asymptomatic volunteers and symptomatic patients
Peroz, Ingrid / Seidel, Antje / Griethe, Mathias / Lemke, Arne-Jörn
Objective: Morphologic and morphometric differences in the anatomy of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) between asymptomatic volunteers and patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) were evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Method and Materials: Forty volunteers were examined using a 1.5-T MRI and double surface coils. Both temporomandibular joints were imaged simultaneously; 78 joints could be evaluated. Each TMJ was examined in the intercuspal position in a parasagittal plane. Images were analyzed morphometrically and morphologically and compared to data retrospectively obtained from 91 age-matched patients.
Results: Considering the position of the disc morphologically, 66.7% of the volunteers had a normal disc position while 28.6% of the patients did. Anterior disc displacement with reduction was diagnosed in 33.3% of volunteers and 31.0% of the patients. Anterior disc displacement without reduction was found only in patients (19.2%). Comparison of morphometric data between patients and volunteers revealed shortening of the disc and a thickening in the intermedial part and the posterior band in patients. In patients, the disc presented anteriorly and the condyle was positioned superiorly and posteriorly in the mandibular fossa when compared to the volunteers. Therefore, the posterior and superior joint spaces were smaller in patients. Women showed disc displacement and combined morphometric changes in the TMJ structures significantly more often than men.
Conclusion: A large variation of morphometric parameters in temporomandibular joints could be demonstrated. However, reduced disc length, thickening of the disc, narrowed interarticular superior and posterior distances, and a superior-posterior position of the condyle are more commonly associated with joint pathology.

Keywords: craniomandibular disorders, magnetic resonance imaging, temporomandibular joint