Author(s): Katakami K, Shimoda S, Kobayashi K, Kawasaki K
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This study aims to confirm the radiographic morphology of mandibular condyles with microscopic observation and to investigate the mechanism of osseous changes of adult human mandibular condyles. METHODS: Following the radiographic examinations of ten temporomandibular joints (TMJs) from five cadavers using conventional tomography, helical CT and limited cone beam CT for dentistry (limited CBCT), ten mandibular condyles were removed. Micro CT images were made of the undecalcified dissected joints in the sagittal plane, perpendicular to the long axis of the condyles, to produce images similar in orientation to the radiographic images. Tissue morphology was observed through backscattered electron images and elemental analysis using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). The microscopic findings were compared with the radiographic findings. RESULTS: Limited CBCT images most accurately depicted erosive change of the bone cortex of the mandibular condyle. EPMA indicated bone remodelling in all mandibular condyles analysed, which showed cartilage calcification different from typical enchondral ossification. No finding of dissolution or disruption of the superficial soft tissue was observed in all specimens, including those presenting radiographic findings of osteoarthrosis. Active bone remodelling with hypertrophic changes of superficial soft tissue was observed in mandibular condyles, which implied radiographic findings of osteoarthrosis. CONCLUSIONS: The high detectability of limited CBCT images on bony morphology of mandibular condyles was confirmed. It is speculated that bone remodelling of adult human mandibular condyles is brought about by cartilage calcification. It was suggested that the osseous changes classified as osteoarthrosis with radiographic images are normal bone remodelling.
This article was published in Dentomaxillofac Radiol
and referenced in Dentistry