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Volume 8 , Issue 2
Spring 1994

Pages 197-206


Thermographic characterization of internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint

Gratt/Sickles/Wexler/Ross


PMID: 7920355

This study assessed the ability of electronic thermography to identify internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint. The study population consisted of 30 patients with internal derangement verified by temporomandibular joint arthrotomography. Electronic thermography was conducted using an Agema 870 thermographic unit. Thermal assessments included: (1) pattern recognition; (2) pattern symmetry; (3) absolute temperature measurements; (4) delta T measurements; and (5) mean temperature measurements and differences within five designated anatomic zones. Results indicated: (1) low levels of thermal symmetry in patients with internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint, and (2) absolute temperature measurements and mean temperature zone measurements showing large delta T values (0.4 degrees C to 0.8 degrees C). Demonstration of characteristic thermal temporomandibular joint changes suggests that electronic thermography may have potential for assessing internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint. However, more extensive studies are needed before thermographic procedures can be accepted clinically.


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