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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2005 Mar;34(2):132-7.

Diagnostic quality of dynamic high-resolution ultrasonography of the TMJ--a pilot study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Innsbruck, Maximilianstr. 10, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


The aim of this study was to compare sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and positive and negative predictive value for high-resolution ultrasonography (HR-US) in diagnosing degenerative changes, effusion and disk displacement using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a reference. Over a period of 6 months, 100 patients with TMJ disorders (200 TMJs) were investigated by an experienced radiologist with HR-US and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI investigation showed degenerative changes in 190 joints (95%), while an effusion was found in 59 (29.5%) joints. At closed-mouth position a disc dislocation was found in 138 joints (69%) and in maximum-mouth-opening position disc dislocation was diagnosed in 76 joints (38%). In the determination of degenerative changes HR-US showed a sensitivity of 94%, a specificity of 100% and an accuracy of 94%. In the detection of effusion HR-US yielded a sensitivity of 81%, a specificity of 100% and an accuracy of 95%. In the determination of disk displacement at closed-mouth position HR-US showed a sensitivity, specificity and an accuracy of 92% each. At maximum-mouth-opening position HR-US reached a sensitivity of 86%, a specificity of 91% and an accuracy of 90%. The results of the current study imply that HR-US is a valuable diagnostic imaging method of the TMJ which can be used as an alternative method to a MRI-investigation, but is yet not able to replace it. Further studies have to be done to reduce false-negative results.

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