Clinical application of SPHARM-PDM to quantify temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis

Comput Med Imaging Graph. 2011 Jul;35(5):345-52. doi: 10.1016/j.compmedimag.2010.11.012. Epub 2010 Dec 24.


The severe bone destruction and resorption that can occur in osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is associated with significant pain and limited joint mobility. However, there is no validated method for the quantification of discrete changes in joint morphology in early diagnosis or assessment of disease progression or treatment effects. To achieve this, the objective of this cross-sectional study was to use simulated bone resorption on cone-beam CT (CBCT) to study condylar morphological variation in subjects with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis (OA). The first part of this study assessed the hypothesis that the agreement between the simulated defects and the shape analysis measurements made of these defects would be within 0.5mm (the image's spatial resolution). One hundred seventy-nine discrete bony defects measuring 3mm and 6mm were simulated on the surfaces of 3D models derived from CBCT images of asymptomatic patients using ITK-Snap software. SPHARM shape correspondence was used to localize and quantify morphological differences of each resorption model with the original asymptomatic control. The size of each simulated defect was analyzed and the values obtained compared to the true defect size. The statistical analysis revealed very high probabilities that mean shape correspondence measured defects within 0.5mm of the true defect size. 95% confidence intervals (CI) were (2.67, 2.92) and (5.99, 6.36) and 95% prediction intervals (PI) were (2.22, 3.37) and (5.54, 6.82), respectively for 3mm and 6mm simulated defects. The second part of this study applied shape correspondence methods to a longitudinal sample of TMJ OA patients. The mapped longitudinal stages of TMJ OA progression identified morphological variants or subtypes, which may explain the heterogeneity of the clinical presentation. This study validated shape correspondence as a method to precisely and predictably quantify 3D condylar resorption.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiography, Dental / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnostic imaging*