Evaluation of articular eminence pneumatization using cone beam computed tomography

Delilbasi C., ORHAN K., Icen M., Aksoy S., Horasan S., Kenan Kose S.

Minerva Stomatologica, vol.62, no.10, pp.349-354, 2013 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Name: Minerva Stomatologica
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.349-354
  • Keywords: Cone-beam computed tomography, Radiography, panoramic, Temporomandibular joint
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Aim. Knowledge about the anatomy of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its surrounding structures is mandatory for success in surgical interventions and for understanding the pathway of spread of infections in this region. This study aims to investigate the anatomy and morphology of pneumatized articular eminence (PAT) using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging in a group of patients. Methods. A retrospective study on 825 patients (377 males, 448 females) aged between 18 and 91 years was performed using sagittal and coronal CBCT images. PAT was defined as non-expansile, nondestructive cyst-like radiolucency in the zygomatic process of the temporal bone, which appears similar to the mastoid air cells. It was classified in two groups as unilocular and multilocular. Statistical comparison of gender, age and localization was performed using chi-square test and correspondence analysis. P<0.05 was considered as significant. Results. Twenty-eight pneumatized articular eminence were found in 21 patients, representing a prevalence of 2.54%. Patients with PAT had a mean age of 28.9 years with a range of 21-78 years. Ten cases (47.6%) occurred in females and 11 cases (52.4%) occurred in males. The results of statistical tests showed no significant differences among the groups with respect to gender, age, and localization (P>0.05). Conclusion. Pneumatization of the articular eminence is a challenging entity for TMJ surgery and spread of infections in this region. Practitioners who are dealing with TMJ surgery and pathology should have detailed information about this anatomical variation since it may cause serious complications.