To explore the mandibular condylar movements in patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders using kinematic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
We retrospectively recruited patients who were clinically diagnosed with internal derangement of the TMJ and referred to our center for MRI examination. The TMJ discs were categorized into normal disc (ND), anteriorly displaced disc (ADD), and disc with destruction (DD) groups using static images obtained in the closed-mouth view. The difference between the “open-mouth” and “closed-mouth” views on kinematic MRI was used to calculate the condylar translation and rotation. Two radiologists consensually performed the image readings and measurements. One-way analysis of variance and chi-squared test were used to compare the variables in the three groups. Pearson’s correlation and general linear models were used to evaluate the correlation and differences between condylar translation and rotation in the three groups.
This study included 98 TMJs from 54 patients. Twenty-six, 49, and 23 TMJs were classified as ND, ADD, and DD, respectively. Condylar rotation and translation demonstrated a significant correlation in all TMJs examined (r = 0.635, p < 0.001), with similar coefficients for all groups. The mean condylar translation in the ND group was greater than that in the ADD and DD groups (ND versus ADD: p = 0.003; ND versus DD: p = 0.002). However, the change in condylar rotation was not affected by the disc status (ND as reference; DD∗condylar translation: coefficient = 0.341, p = 0.332; ADD∗condylar translation: coefficient = -0.100, p = 0.696).
Kinematic MRI studies revealed that TMJ condylar translation was correlated with its rotation for all disc statuses.

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