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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Ultrasonography in the Diagnosis of Temporomandibular Disorders: A Meta-Analysis

Tomasz Klatkiewicz, Krzysztof Gawriołek, Małgorzata Pobudek Radzikowska, Agata Czajka-Jakubowska

(Department of Oral Rehabilitation, Division of Prosthodontics, University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: DIA812-817

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908810


BACKGROUND: The increased prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) requires searching for new, easily accessible diagnostic methods. In addition to routine clinical examination, various methods of imaging temporomandibular joints are available, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scans, or scintigraphy. Ultrasound imaging, due to short examination time, low cost, and non-invasiveness, should be recommended as a routine diagnostic procedure. The aim of the study was to investigate whether ultrasound imaging can be used in the diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorders.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Publications during the period 2006 to March 2017 from the US National Library of Medicine database were selected for analysis by entering the terms “ultrasonography”, “ultrasound”, “USG”, “temporomandibular joint”, “TMJ”, “temporomandibular disorders”, and “TMD”. Papers were chosen if they met the required criteria relating to the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of this diagnostic technique with regard to imaging articular disc displacement, joint effusion, and condylar abnormalities.
RESULTS: The search yielded 1883 publications, of which 8 were selected that met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. For articular disc displacement examinations, the following results were obtained: sensitivity 75.6%; specificity 69.1%; accuracy 76.1%; positive predictive value 72.2%; negative predictive value 65.6%. When the examinations of joint effusion and condylar abnormalities were included, the results were respectively 66.9%; 70.8%; 69.9%; 75.8%; and 62.4%.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of temporomandibular disorders requires standardizing the method as well as further research to confirm its effectiveness.

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