COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Relative odds of temporomandibular joint pain as a function of magnetic resonance imaging findings of internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema

Rüdiger Emshoff, Iris Brandlmaier, Stefan Bertram, Ansgar Rudisch
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics 2003, 95 (4): 437-45
12686927

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether common magnetic resonance (MR) imaging variables such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema are predictive of the presence of TMJ pain.

STUDY DESIGN: The relationship between TMJ pain and TMJ internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema was analyzed in MR images of 338 TMJs in 169 patients with a clinical diagnosis of TMJ pain and dysfunction. Criteria for including a patient with TMJ pain were a report of orofacial pain referred to the TMJ, with the presence of unilateral or bilateral TMJ pain during palpation, function, or unassisted or assisted mandibular opening. The criteria for including a patient with no pain were the absence of TMJ pain during palpation, function, and unassisted or assisted mandibular opening. Application of the criteria resulted in a study group of 129 patients with unilateral TMJ pain, 18 with bilateral TMJ pain, and 22 without TMJ pain. Bilateral sagittal and coronal MR images were obtained to establish the presence or absence of TMJ internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema. Logistic regression analysis was used to compute the odds ratios for internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema for nonpainful TMJs (n = 173) versus painful TMJs (n = 165).

RESULTS: For pairwise comparison, the chi(2) test was used; the resultant data showed a significant relationship between the clinical findings of TMJ pain and the MR imaging diagnoses of internal derangement (P =.000), osteoarthrosis (P =.015), effusion (P =.002), and bone marrow edema (P =.016). Of the MR imaging variables considered simultaneously in multiple logistic regression analysis, osteoarthrosis (P =.405), effusion (P =.131), and bone marrow edema (P =.231) dropped out as nonsignificant in the diagnostic TMJ pain group in comparison with the TMJ no-pain group. Significant increases in risk of TMJ pain occurred with disk displacement without reduction in combination with osteoarthrosis and bone marrow edema (3.7:1 odds ratio; P =.000) and with disk displacement without reduction in combination with osteoarthrosis and effusion (2.8:1 odds ratio; P =.000).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that TMJ pain is related to internal derangement, osteoarthrosis, effusion, and bone marrow edema. However, the data reemphasize that these MR imaging variables may not be regarded as the unique and dominant factors in defining TMJ pain occurrence.

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