Effectiveness of Handheld Ultrasound for Diagnosing Patients With TMD


University of Manitoba




Magnetic Resonance Image
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Handheld Ultrasound


Device: Butterfly Network handheld ultrasound

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The aim of this research is to add to the limited body of knowledge comparing the effectiveness of ultrasound (US) to MRI diagnoses in patients with TMJ disorders. More specifically, we will review the efficacy of handheld US devices, which has not yet been done to the author's knowledge.

Full description

Currently, patients complaining of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain are evaluated clinically, which includes measurements of their maximal incisal opening (MIO) lateral and protrusive excursions, recording their current pain duration and frequency, and any clicking/popping/grinding of the joints. Based on these findings, the patient is sent for an MRI if temporomandibular joint disorder is suspected. MRI is currently the gold standard of care for imaging of the joint, as it provides valuable information on the position, morphology and signal intensity of the joints and its surrounding structures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is currently the gold standard of imaging for diagnosis of internal derangement due to its ability to provide valuable information on the position, morphology and signal intensity of the joints and its surrounding structures. However, using MRI is not without its challenges, as patients with severe TMJ pain find it difficult to complete a full TMJ series and access to MRI is often restricted due to limited locations and associated waits, further prolonging time between initial consultation and diagnosis. In addition, MRI is contraindicated in patients with metallic implants, coronary and peripheral artery stents, cardiac pacemakers, prosthetic heart valves, intrauterine contraceptive devices, and claustrophobia. For these reasons, the author believes that attempting to find an alternative reliable screening tool for internal derangement is a worthwhile endeavor. For this study, handheld ultrasound would be used at the time of clinical examination to come up with a preliminary diagnosis, and this diagnosis would be compared to the MRI findings.


50 estimated patients




18+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • The patient population will be those patients who meet the criteria for temporomandibular joint disorders based on clinical examination and patient history, including anterior disc displacement with or without reduction, joint effusion, or degenerative joint disease.

Exclusion criteria

  • Patients under the age of 18.
  • Patients unable to consent for themselves.

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Meagan A Brown, DDS

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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