Comparison of altered signal intensity position and morphology of the TMJ disc in MR images corrected for variations in surface coil sensitivity.
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Objective. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the corrections of signal intensity of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc caused by variations in sensitivity of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) surface coil, to compare the modified signal intensities of the posterior and anterior bands, and then to evaluate the relationship of the signal intensity difference to altered disc position and morphology in a group of TMJ patients. Study design. MRI was performed on 96 joints. All patients underwent imaging in axial, coronal, and sagittal planes using fast-spin echo sequences (FSE). The images were taken in the closed, partially opened, and maximum opened mouth positions in 2 sequences. Classifications were made according to the position and morphology of the disc. TMJs were divided into normal, anterior disc displacement with reduction (ADDwR), anterior disc displacement without reduction (ADDwoR), and partial anterior disc displacement with reduction (PDDwR). Disc morphology was subdivided as biconcave, lengthened, biconvex, thick posterior band, and others (defined as folded and rounded). The correction of the inhomogeneous sensitivity of the surface coil was done with the original software. The signal intensities (SI) of the posterior band and anterior band of TMJ discs were measured. The correlations among the groups of TMJs and disc morphologies and SI were statistically analyzed by using Bonferroni/Dunn multicomparison method test. Results. Of the total number of joints studied with the help of MRI, 37 were normal, 12 exhibited ADDwR, 32 ADDwoR, and 9 PDDwR. The corrected MR images indicated that SI of the posterior bands were higher than the anterior band of the discs. It can also be concluded that the SI of the posterior bands increased significantly in the following order: normal, PDDwR, ADDwR, and ADDwoR, while there is no statistical difference in the SI of the anterior band of the discs. In ADDwR and ADDwoR, thick posterior band is the most common shape. In normal TMJ, the biconcave shape is identified as the most frequently encountered shape. Conclusions. It was demonstrated that the SI of the posterior bands increase with the progress of internal derangement, and was found to be higher than that of the anterior band of the discs. It appears that disc degeneration starts from the posterior band of the disc.
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