The causes of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) are various and not clearly proven yet. Since the clinical manifestations also vary in types and extents, reported incidence rate according to subjective symptom goes up to 50% in Korean population.
The diagnosis of TMD is made with history taking, clinical evaluation and radiologic evaluation. Nuclear medicine is also useful in verification of an arthritic change. Bone scan and SPECT using 99mTc are widely used, and recently proved to have prognostic value for the treatment result of TMD. But they have limits of low resolution and long examination time.
Recent comparative studies have demonstrated that PET using alternative radioisotope 18F-fluoride is more accurate than 99mTc-diphosphonate SPECT for identifying both malignant and benign lesions of the skeleton. 18F-fluoride bone PET has higher resolution and enables quantitative evaluation. It also reduces the examination time compared to conventional bone scan.
Authors applied this new technique to the diagnosis and estimating prognosis of TMD. 18F-fluoride produced by medical cyclotron of Jeju National University Hospital was used in bone PET taking for 30 TMD patients of the same hospital. The result was compared to conventional 99mTc-MDP bone scan.
Conflict of interest: None declared.