Assessment of the Relationship Between Clinicophysiologic and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings of the Temporomandibular Disorder Patients

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Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJDs) are a complex group of disorders that comprise dysfunctions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In this study, we analyzed the objective and subjective findings of the TMJD patients by using Helkimo anamnesis (Ai) and clinical dysfunction (Di) indices, and tried to document a relation between these findings and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results.

Ninety-eight patients who were admitted to our clinic were included in the study. The clinical evaluation was performed by using Ai, an 8-question-survey based on the objective symptoms of patients; Di, concluded as the score of 5 objective measurements of physical examination. The morphology of the TMJ was evaluated by MRI, and the findings were analyzed and statistically compared with respect to the Di.

The most commonly seen symptoms were noise during mandibular movement (58%), pain around the joint (42.5%), and pain with mandibular movements (40%). Seventeen patients (17.3%) were Di0, 47 (48%) were DiI, 24 (24.5%) were DiII, and 10 (10.2%) were DiIII. Thirty-seven patients (37.8%) had abnormal MRI findings, whereas 61 patients (62.2%) had normal MRI. The most commonly encountered pathology was anterior disc displacement with reduction, which was reported in 15 patients. Increased TMJ Di, which points a more progressed TMJD, was found to be significantly related with the pathological MRI findings (P < 0.05).

MRI is especially effective in particularly those with high Di; therefore, the results of the study may give a prospect in which types of patients does MRI give a valuable data toward diagnosis, in which stages of the TMJD should we expect pathological findings, and thereby preventing unnecessary use of MRI in patients with symptoms of TMJD.

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