This study was carried out to determine the value of Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic tool in patients with temporomandibular disorders. The clinical presentation and MRI findings on 88 temporomandibular joints belonging to 44 symptomatic patients were retrospectively studied. The disk position, configuration and signal intensity; mandibular condyle morphology and signal intensity; temporomandibular joint space and surrounding soft tissue abnormality were assessed. The correlation between the clinical and MRI findings was statistically analyzed using Fisher’s exact (1-sided) test. Pain in the temporomandibular region was the most common clinical presentation, it accounts for 64% of cases. There was significant correlation between pain, and disc displacement with no reduction (DDWNR) and condylar hyperlaxity (p = 0.04, 0.03, respectively), as well as between clicking and each type of DD (p = 0.00). Statistically significant relationship was also found between tenderness, and DDWNR and presence of joint effusion (p = 0.02, 0.03, respectively) as well as between limitation of mouth opening and condylar marrow edema (p = 0.02). Causes of temporomandibular disorders can be well defined by clinical examination. However, MRI can be preserved for patients with pain in whom an initial medical conservative oral treatment failed in order to exclude other pathological process.
Key words: Temporomandibular joint, magnetic resonance imaging, internal derangement, temporomandibular disorders.
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