Temporomandibular joint sound evaluation with an electronic device and clinical evaluation

R. A. Tanzilli, R. H. Tallents, R. W. Katzberg, S. Kyrkanides, M. E. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sound analysis to diagnose internal derangement has received much attention as an alternative to radiographic examination. The purpose of this study was to compare findings with an electronic device (sonography) and clinical examination to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Twenty-three symptomatic patients (46 joints) were evaluated for this study. All patients had jaw joint pain and one or more of the following findings; limitation of jaw opening, painful mandibular movement with or without clicking or crepitation. The presence or absence of joint sounds was evaluated clinically by palpation and auscultation and with sonography. If sounds were present (clicking or crepitation) on either examination the patient was considered positive for disc displacement for that examination. Two by two tables were constructed comparing sonography and clinical examination with MRI findings. The sensitivity of the sonogram was 84% and the specificity was 33% when compared with MRI findings. The sensitivity of the clinical examination was 70% and the specificity was 40% when compared with MRI findings. This study suggests that clinical and sonographic examination has a high sensitivity (low false negative examinations) but low specificity (high false positive examinations).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalOrthodontics and Craniofacial Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Comparative study
  • Electronic devices
  • Joint sounds
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics
  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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