Home > Journals > Minerva Stomatologica > Past Issues > Minerva Stomatologica 2009 April;58(4) > Minerva Stomatologica 2009 April;58(4):127-43





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 2009 April;58(4):127-43

language: English, Italian

Morphometric evaluation of the temporomandibular joint and the masticatory spaces: the role of high-definition MRI

Pedullà E. 1, Meli G. A. 2, Garufi A. 3, Cascone P. 4, Mandalà M. L. 3, Deodato L. 3, Palazzo G. 3

1 D.M.D. University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Radiology University of Catania, Catania, Italy
3 Department of Radiology Cannizzaro Hospital, Catania, Italy
4 Department of Maxillo-Facial Surgery University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy


Aim. The aim of this work was to describe the anatomy of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the masticator spaces and their possible variance by means of magnetic resonance imaging MRI.
Methods. We evaluated one TMJ in each of 28 volunteers (14 males and 14 females) without temporomandibular disorders. The TMJ with mouth closed was evaluated on axial, coronal and sagittal planes obtained with a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner. MRI scans of the anatomic patterns of the temporomandibular region were analyzed and compared with the classical anatomy notions reported in the literature. Morphometric evaluation of the temporomandibular region and the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles was carried out.
Results. MRI anatomy of the TMJ, the masticator spaces and their possible variance were accurately described. In addition, morphometric evaluation of the TMJ and the masticator spaces was performed. Statistical analysis of the measurements showed that the length of the structures related to the glenoid fossa were usually longer in the female than in the males, whereas the condyle and masticator muscles were usually greater in the males than in the females. T-tests showed no significant differences (P>0.05) between the measurements of the right and left TMJ.
Conclusion. In preoperative maxillofacial surgery assessment, MRI is a useful tool to reduce operating time, avert surgical complications and improve patient outcome.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail