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J Oral Rehabil. 2002 Feb;29(2):161-6.

Acoustic characteristics of sounds from temporomandibular joints with and without effusion: an MRI study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Showa University, School of Dentistry, Tokyo, Japan.


Joint effusion has been associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain but can only be diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For screening of patients with suspected effusion a simple and less expensive method would be desirable. We recorded joint sounds during jaw opening and closing movement from 34 TMJs with internal derangement (ID). Seventeen joints had joint effusion seen on MRI. Spectrograms of the sounds were displayed as waterfall plots showing profiles of the consecutive Hamming windows. If the profiles were similar, as judged by initial evaluation, the displayed pattern was classified as stable. If some profiles were distinctly deviating in their pattern, this was classified as unstable. Joints with effusion showed unstable sound pattern more often than joints without effusion (P < 0.001). It was concluded that TMJ sound analyses have a potential to identify joints with effusion based on their unstable sound pattern.

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