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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2013 May 1;18(3):e392-402.

Pseudotumors and tumors of the temporomandibular joint. A review.

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  • 1Department of Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Valencia University General Hospital, Valencia, Spain. poveda@uv.es



To review the pseudotumors and tumors of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) published in journals included in Journal Citation Reports (JCR), and to evaluate whether there are clinical and radiological signs capable of differentiating between pseudotumors and tumors and between malignant and benign tumors.


A systematic Medline search was made of clinical cases of tumors and pseudotumors of the TMJ covering a 20-year period and published in journals included in JCR. Only cases with histological confirmation were included. A description is provided of the general characteristics of TMJ tumors, with comparison of the clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic and evolutive variables referred to pseudotumors, benign tumors and malignant tumors.


We identified 285 TMJ tumors published in 181 articles of 15 journals. The most frequent lesions were pseudotumors (synovial chondromatosis, pigmented villonodular synovitis, eosinophilic granuloma and osteochondroma). The mean age was 42 years and one month ± 16 years and two months. Tumors were more common in females. The mean time from symptoms onset to consultation was 30 months and 8 days ± 41 months and 9 days, and almost 19.6% of the cases initially had been diagnosed and treated as TMJ dysfunction. The most frequent clinical manifestations were pain, swelling and the limitation of joint movements. The most common radiological findings in the case of benign and malignant lesions were radiopacities and radiotransparencies, respectively. No panoramic X-ray alterations were observed in 14.6% of the benign tumors and in 7.7% of the malignant lesions. Surgery was the usual form of treatment. Sequelae were recorded in 18.2% of the cases, with tumor relapse in 9.1%. The four-year survival rate in the case of malignant tumors was 72.2%.

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