As a part of a multi-site RDC/TMD Validation Project, comprehensive TMJ diagnostic criteria were developed for image analysis using panoramic radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT).
Inter-examiner reliability was estimated using the kappa (k) statistic, and agreement between rater pairs was characterized by overall, positive, and negative percent agreement. CT was the reference standard for assessing validity of other imaging modalities for detecting osteoarthritis (OA).
For the radiological diagnosis of OA, reliability of the three examiners was poor for panoramic radiography (k = 0.16), fair for MRI (k = 0.46), and close to the threshold for excellent for CT (k = 0.71). Using MRI, reliability was excellent for diagnosing disc displacements (DD) with reduction (k = 0.78) and for DD without reduction (k = 0.94), and was good for effusion (k = 0.64). Overall percent agreement for pair-wise ratings was ≥ 82% for all conditions. Positive percent agreement for diagnosing OA was 19% for panoramic radiography, 59% for MRI, and 84% for CT. Using MRI, positive percent agreement for diagnoses of any DD was 95% and for effusion was 81%. Negative percent agreement was ≥ 88% for all conditions. Compared to CT, panoramic radiography and MRI had poor to marginal sensitivity, respectively, but excellent specificity, in detecting OA.
Comprehensive image analysis criteria for RDC/TMD Validation Project were developed, which can reliably be employed for assessing OA using CT, and for disc position and effusion using MRI.