Correlation Between Clinical Findings of Temporomandibular Disorders and MRI Characteristics of Disc Displacement

The Open Dentistry Journal 31 July 2015 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601509010273


Objectives : Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a common condition that is best evaluated with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The first step in MR imaging of the TMJ is to evaluate the articular disk, or meniscus, in terms of its morphologic features and its location relative to the condyle in both closed- and open-mouth positions. Disk location is of prime importance because the presence of a displaced disk is a critical sign of TMJ dysfunction. However, disk displacement is also frequently seen in asymptomatic volunteers. It is important for the maxillofacial radiologist to detect early MR imaging signs of dysfunction, thereby avoiding the evolution of this condition to its advanced and irreversible phase which is characterized by osteoarthritic changes such as condylar flattening or osteophytes. Further the MR imaging techniques will allow a better understanding of the sources of TMJ pain and of any discrepancy between imaging findings and patient symptoms. Henceforth, the aim of the study was to evaluate whether MRI findings of various degrees of disk displacement could be correlated with the presence or absence of clinical signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders in symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Materials and Methods : In this clinical study, 44 patients (88 TMJs) were examined clinically and divided into two groups. Group 1 consisted of 22 patients with clinical signs and symptoms of TMDs either unilaterally or bilaterally and considered as study group. Group 2 consisted of 22 patients with no signs and symptoms of TMDs and considered as control group. MRI was done for both the TMJs of each patient. Displacement of the posterior band of articular disc in relation to the condyle was quantified as anterior disc displacement with reduction (ADDR), anterior disc displacement without reduction (ADDWR), posterior disc displacement (PDD). Results : Disk displacement was found in 18 (81.8%) patients of 22 symptomatic subjects in Group 1 on MRI and 4 (18.1%) were diagnosed normal with no disc displacement. In Group 2, 2 (9.1%) of 22 asymptomatic patients were diagnosed with disc displacement while 20 (90.1%) were normal. Sensitivity and Specificity tests were applied in both the groups to correlate clinical findings of TMD and MRI characterstics of disc displacement and results showed Sensitivity of 90% and Specificity of 83.3%. Conclusion : Disk displacement on MRI correlated well with presence or absence of clinical signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders with high Sensitivity and Specificity of 90% and 83.3% respectively.

Keywords: Disc displacement, magnetic resonance imaging, temporomandibular joint disorders.
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