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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 28 (2014), No. 3     24. July 2014
J Orofac Pain 28 (2014), No. 3  (24.07.2014)

Page 233-242

A Comparative Analysis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Radiographic Examinations of Patients with Atypical Odontalgia
Pigg, Maria / List, Thomas / Abul-Kasim, Kasim / Maly, Pavel / Petersson, Arne
Aims: To examine (1) the occurrence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal changes in the painful regions of patients with atypical odontalgia (AO) and (2) the correlation of such findings to periapical bone defects detected with a comprehensive radiographic examination including cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).
Methods: A total of 20 patients (mean age 52 years, range 34 to 65) diagnosed with AO participated. Mean pain intensity (± standard deviation) was 5.6 ± 1.8 on a 0-10 numerical rating scale, and mean pain duration was 4.3 ± 5.2 years. The inclusion criterion was chronic pain (> 6 months) located in a region with no clear pathologic cause identified clinically or in periapical radiographs. In addition to a clinical examination and a self-report questionnaire, the assessments included radiographic examinations (panoramic, periapical, and CBCT images), and an MRI examination. Changes in MRI signal in the painful region were recorded. Spearman's rank correlation between radiographic and MRI findings was calculated.
Results: Eight of the patients (40%) had MRI signal changes in the pain region. The correlation to radiographic periapical radiolucencies was 0.526 (P = .003). Of the eight teeth displaying changes in MRI signal, six showed periapical radiolucency in the radiographs.
Conclusion: MRI examination revealed no changes in the painful region in a majority of patients with AO, suggesting that inflammation was not present. MRI findings were significantly correlated to radiographic findings.

Keywords: cone beam computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, orofacial pain, persistent dentoalveolar pain disorder, trigeminal pain