Validity of MicroCT for in vitro detection of proximal carious lesions in primary molars

J Dent. 2012 Jan;40(1):35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Sep 12.


Objective: This study aimed to validate the MicroCT for detection of proximal carious lesions in primary molars, using histology as the gold standard.

Methods: Forty-eight proximal surfaces of primary molars were examined. Two calibrated examiners conducted the examinations independently. Proximal surfaces were visually scored, using ICDAS. Bitewing radiographs, Micro-CT and histological analyses used caries scores: 0=sound; 1=outer enamel; 2=inner enamel; 3=not spread dentine; 4=outer dentine; 5=inner dentine. Axial and sagital images were used for Micro-CT analysis, whilst for histology, tooth sections (400μm) were analyzed stereomicroscopically (×15).

Results: Inter-examiner agreement ranged from 0.87 to 0.93 kappa coefficient (k). Histological analysis revealed a frequency of sound tooth surfaces (18.8%) enamel carious lesions (E1) (48%) and dentine carious lesions (D1) (33.3%). MicroCT showed high correlation with histology (r(s)0.88). At both diagnostic thresholds (E1 and D1), sensitivity and accuracy were higher for MicroCT. Inter-device agreement between MicroCT and histology was k=0.81. No difference was found between MicroCT and histology as gold standards for detecting carious lesions using ICDAS.

Conclusion: MicroCT can be used as a gold standard for detecting carious lesions in proximal surfaces in primary molars.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Enamel / diagnostic imaging
  • Dentin / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tooth, Deciduous / diagnostic imaging*
  • X-Ray Microtomography*