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Volume 20, Number 3, September 2008

Diagnostic Accuracy of an Ultra-thin Arthroscope in the Inferior Joint Space of the Temporomandibular Joint: Comparison of Arthroscopic and Histological Findings in a Sheep Model of Osteoarthritis

Nobumi Ogi,1 Kenichi Kurita,2 Jun-Ichi Ishimaru,3 Alastair N Goss4
Departments of 1Maxillofacial Surgery and 2Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Aichi-Gakuin University School of Dentistry, Nagoya, Japan, 3Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Gifu Prefectural General Medical Center, Gifu, Japan, and 4Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

The inferior joint space of the temporomandibular joint can be affected by internal derangement or osteoarthritis, and preoperative evaluation is often critically important for selecting appropriate surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of an ultra-thin arthroscope for examining the inferior joint space of osteoarthritic temporomandibular joints in sheep.
Materials and Methods: In a masked study, osteoarthritis was induced experimentally in the temporomandibular joints of 20 sheep. Six months later, the inferior joint spaces were inspected and intra-articular abnormalities assessed using an arthroscope 0.8 mm in diameter. The joints were dissected and processed histologically, and arthroscopic findings were compared against histological findings as the gold standard.
Results: Of the 20 diseased joints, 13 were diagnosed correctly with the arthroscope. Of the remaining 7 joints, 6 were underdiagnosed while 1 was overdiagnosed.
Conclusion: The ultra-thin arthroscope has good diagnostic accuracy in the inferior joint space of an osteoarthritic temporomandibular joint, and provides direct visualisation of the disease.

Key words: Arthroscopes, Osteoarthritis, Temporomandibular joint

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008;20:124-128.
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