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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Assessment of the Sensitivity, Specificity, and Accuracy of Thermography in Identifying Patients with TMD

Krzysztof Woźniak, Liliana Szyszka-Sommerfeld, Grzegorz Trybek, Dagmara Piątkowska

Department of Orthodontics, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1485-1493

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893863

Available online: 2015-05-23

Published: 2015-05-23


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of thermography in identifying patients with temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study sample consisted of 50 patients (27 women and 23 men) ages 19.2 to 24.5 years (mean age 22.43±1.04) with subjective symptoms of TMD (Ai II–III) and 50 patients (25 women and 25 men) ages 19.3 to 25.1 years (mean age 22.21±1.18) with no subjective symptoms of TMD (Ai I).
The anamnestic interviews were conducted according to the three-point anamnestic index of temporomandibular dysfunction (Ai). The thermography was performed using a ThermaCAM TMSC500 (FLIR Systems AB, Sweden) independent thermal vision system. Thermography was closely combined with a 10-min chewing test.
RESULTS: The results of our study indicated that the absolute difference in temperature between the right and left side (ΔT) has the highest diagnostic value. The diagnostic effectiveness of this parameter increased after the chewing test. The cut-off points for values of temperature differences between the right and left side and identifying 95.5% of subjects with no functional disorders according to the temporomandibular dysfunction index Di (specificity 95.5%) were 0.26°C (AUC=0.7422, sensitivity 44.3%, accuracy 52.4%) before the chewing test and 0.52°C (AUC=0.7920, sensitivity 46.4%, accuracy 56.3%) after it.
CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation of thermography demonstrated its diagnostic usefulness in identifying patients with TMD with limited effectiveness. The chewing test helped in increasing the diagnostic efficiency of thermography in identifying patients with TMD.

Keywords: Body Temperature, Area Under Curve, Data Accuracy, Mastication - physiology, Sensitivity and Specificity, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders - diagnosis, Thermography - standards, young adult