Question: What is the impact of the information obtained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) images on the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) final diagnosis and patient management?
Medline, the Cochrane Library databases and reference list of review articles were searched.
Three examiners selected publications. To be included the publication had to elucidate the diagnostic thinking efficacy and/or therapeutic efficacy of MRI and/or CT in the diagnosis of disc displacement, inflammatory disorders (capsulitis, synovitis) and osteoarthrosis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Publications related to trauma, tumours, systemic diseases, synovial chondromatosis; cadaver studies; narrative literature reviews; and studies of other TMJ imaging methods were excluded.
Data extraction and synthesis
Data were extracted by three examiners with disputes being settled by consensus. Study quality was assessed using the QUADAS tool.1 No synthesis was performed as only one study was identified.
One study was judged relevant. This study evaluated evidence of the efficacy of MRI in the diagnosis of disc position and configuration, disc perforation, joint effusion, and osseous and bone marrow changes in the temporomandibular joint, but no publication reported diagnostic thinking efficacy or therapeutic efficacy.
The absence of studies on the therapeutic efficacy of MRI and CT on TMJD reinforces the need for investment in decision-making studies; meanwhile, sectional imaging tests should be prescribed with caution, especially when health budgets are limited.
Sergio Uribe. The impact of imaging technologies on temporomandibular joint disorder diagnosis . Evidence-Based Dentistry 12, 113-114 (2011) | doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400828
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