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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2004 July-August;53(7-8):439-48

language: English, Italian

Is clinical assessment valid for the diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disk displacement?

Tognini F., Manfredini D., Montagnani G., Bosco M.


Aim. The aim of this work was to evaluate the predictive value of clinical examination for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disk position abnormalities.
Methods. Participants in this study were 51 consecutive patients with signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). All 102 temporomandibular joints (TMJ) were evaluated to detect disk position abnormalities by means of a standardized clinical assessement according to Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) and MRI performed by a blinded radiologist at the Section of Prosthetic Dentistry, University of Pisa, Italy. The accuracy of clinical assessment was evaluated with respect to MRI.
Results. Clinical assessment showed a good predictive value (PV) for the diagnosis of normal disk position (86.2%) and an acceptable PV for the diagnosis of disk displacement with reduction (70.3%), while it seems less accurate in predicting MRI diagnosis of disk displacement without reduction. The overall agreement between clinical RDC/TMD examination and MRI for the evaluation of disk position was 77.3%.
Conclusion. Clinical RDC/TMD examination proved to be accurate in detecting normal disk position and disk displacement with reduction but not reliable in predicting MRI diagnosis of disk displacement without reduction in the temporomandibular joint.

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