To the authors' knowledge, there are no detailed published studies of the TMJ of the dromedary camel using CT and MRI, which turns out to be essential for morphologic, physiologic, and clinical studies involving bones and soft tissues located in this joint.
CT imaging is a cross-sectional diagnostic technique that provided excellent detail of clinically relevant anatomy and offers considerable advantages compared with traditional radiography and ultrasound for the examination of the TMJ: a lack of superimposition of the tissues and a higher differentiation of tissue densities [24
]. CT provides excellent spatial resolution and good discrimination between bone and soft tissue [9
]. CT is more sensitive in detecting diseases and distinguishes normal and abnormal structures accurately [22
FSE T1- and T2-weighted MR images of the camel TMJ provided details of clinically relevant anatomy, and there were discrimination of both soft and mineralized tissues [15
]. MRI leads to an excellent spatial resolution and good discrimination between the bones and the cephalic soft tissues, in comparison with other conventional image-based techniques, due to a higher contrast resolution of the anatomic structures. MRI is good for understanding the morphology and the positions of the soft tissues [15
]. In addition, an important advantage is that MRI is a powerful technique for obtaining images on various anatomic planes without repositioning of the animal. Nonetheless, MRI also shows some disadvantages in comparison to other exploratory procedures. We emphasize that sedation is required if the animal is alive, the high cost of such equipment and the lack of antennas for use in medicine of the camels. This is the reason why many authors have resorted to the low intensity of the MRI units or collaboration agreements with hospitals in human medicine [15
]. It is also necessary to stress that MRI is an image-based diagnostic technique that does not detect the contents of calcium in organic tissues, and, therefore, its application on studies of the osseous system is not recommended.
In our study, we used an MRI unit of 1.5
T with a superconductor magnet, which enabled us to obtain high-definition tomographies. The physical parameters (TR, TE, matrix, etc.) which we applied to obtain MRI on the sagittal and transverse spatial planes can be used as an initial valid reference for this type of exploratory studies on the TMJ of the camel, especially for scientists who initiate themselves in the application of these modern image-based diagnostic techniques.
MRI obtained in the sagittal plane allowed us a better evaluation of the topographic anatomic structures on the median plane of the TMJ, fundamentally the articular surfaces and articular disc, as well as the associated and topographically related structures. The anatomic relationships were appreciated most easily in the transverse planes. The anatomy section of the TMJ allows a correct morphologic assessment and topographic evaluation of anatomical structures, being useful tool for the identification of CT and MRI images. A thorough understanding of normal TMJ anatomy on CT and MR images is essential to optimize the diagnosis of TMJ disorders [16
]. In the same way, we consider it quite useful to be able to establish some references on TMJ, in order to scan only selected parts during a clinical or experimental approach.
The use of CT and MRI in camels is limited because of cost, availability, and logistical problems to acquire imaging in large animals [9
]. With developing technology [30
], CT and MR imaging may soon become more readily available for diagnostic imaging in veterinary medicine.