Won C. Bae1, Sheronda Statum1, Reni Biswas2, Koichi Masuda3, Jiang Du1, Terry Tanaka4, Christine B. Chung1
1Radiology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA; 2Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; 3Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; 4School of Dentistry, Department of Graduate Prosthodontics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) facilitates jaw movement. TMJ disorders involve degeneration of the TMJ disc; early detection using MRI would be useful. TMJ tissues have inherently short T2 values and their quantitative evaluation benefits from ultrashort time-to-echo (UTE) techniques. This study evaluated sensitivity of UTE T1rho property to biochemical changes of human TMJ discs incurred by trypsin digestion. UTE T1rho values increased significantly with digestion duration, during which glycosaminoglycan loss has also occurred. Incremental increase in UTE T1rho values correlated significantly with incremental glycosaminoglycan loss. UTE T1rho may be useful for early and longitudinal assessment of TMJ disc degeneration.