An approach for three-dimensional visualization using high-resolution MRI of the temporomandibular joint.Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2007 Sep; 36(6):341-7.DR
To visualize the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the surrounding tissues in detail utilizing high-resolution MR images for the diagnosis of soft- and hard-tissue abnormalities. Clinically routine MR slices are processed by tissue segmentation and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and viewed with visualization software.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A 1.5 T MRI system was used. The double-echo procedure for taking oblique sagittal images was applied to obtain both proton density-weighted (PDW) and T2 weighted (T2W) images simultaneously, with separate examinations in both open and closed mouth positions. Diagnosis of the abnormality in the placement and morphology of articular discs and the joint effusion status is usually performed using multiple MRI slices. Clinically routine continuous MR slices were processed by segmentation, reconstruction and visualization algorithms, and the mandibular condyle, fossa, articular disc and other intra-articular tissues were visualized on the 3D and two-dimensional (2D)-3D fusion images.
In a clinical case, the anterior disc displacement without reduction, with mouth open and closed, was clearly depicted in the 3D images. Also 2D-3D superposed images with changeable tissue transparency successfully depicted the stereoscopic TMJ morphology in three dimensions.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
High-resolution PDW- and T2W MR images could be processed by tissue segmentation and 3D-reconstruction procedures, and the resultant images showed the anatomical details in an easily recognizable way. By the simultaneous visualization of both bony surfaces and soft tissues, disc displacement and deformity can be recognized in a 3D context. The additional superposition of the 3D visualization with the original 2D MR slices allows for a combination with conventional diagnostics.