A Complementary Radiographic Projection Of The Equine Temporomandibular Joint

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EBLING AJ, MCKNIGHT AL, SEILER G, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2009;50:385-391.

The complexity of the equine skull makes the temporomandibular joint a difficult area to evaluate radiographically. The goal of this study was to determine the optimal angle for a complementary radiographic projection of the equine temporomandibular joint based on a computed tomography (CT) cadaver study. CT was performed on six equine cadaver heads of horses that were euthanized for other reasons than temporomandibular joint disease. After the CT examination, 3D reconstruction of the equine skull was performed to subjectively determine the angle for a complementary radiographic projection of the temporomandibular joint. The angle was measured on the left and right temporomandibular joint of each head. Based on the measurements obtained from the CT images, a radiographic projection of the temporomandibular joint in a rostral 45 degree ventral-caudodorsal oblique (R4 degreeV-CdDO) direction was developed by placing the X-ray unit 30 degree laterally, maintaining at the same time the R45 degreeV-CdDO angle (R45 degree V30 degree L-CdDLO). This radiographic projection was applied to all cadaver heads and on six live horses. In three of the live horses abnormal findings associated with the temporomandibular joint were detected. We conclude that this new radiographic projection of the temporomandibular joint provides superior visualization of the temporomandibular joint space and the articular surface of the mandibular condyle.