Purpose: To assess the long-term temporomandibular joint (TMJ) manifestations of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), as depicted at computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, in 47 adult patients.
Materials and methods: The study was approved by a regional committee for medical research ethics, and informed consent was obtained from all patients. Forty-seven patients with JIA (32 women, 15 men; mean age, 35 years) were examined, on average, 30 years after the initial diagnosis. The findings of TMJ imaging, including CT and MR imaging, were evaluated by three observers. Bone and disk abnormalities, joint effusion, bone marrow abnormalities, and contrast enhancement were analyzed.
Results: The TMJs were involved in 33 (70%) of the 47 patients with JIA, with bilateral involvement in 29 patients. Slight to moderate contrast enhancement was observed on the images obtained in 14 (42%) of the 33 patients with TMJ JIA abnormalities. All main joint components were abnormal in 28 of the 33 patients, mainly showing flat deformed condyles, wide flat fossae, and thin or perforated disks in the normal position, or absent disks. Condylar concavity or bifidity, and secondary osteoarthritis were found in approximately half of the abnormal joints.
Conclusion: Long-term JIA manifestations in the TMJs, as demonstrated at CT and MR imaging, were frequent, usually bilateral, and characterized by mandibular condyle and temporal bone deformities, abnormal disk morphology, and, rather frequently, osteoarthritis and mild synovitis.