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Title Electromyography Is Not Recommended For Diagnosis Of Temporomandibular Disorders
Clinical Question How does electromyographic (EMG) analysis compare to conventional diagnostic methodologies (physical exam/patient questionnaire) in the diagnosis of temporomandibular disorders in adults? (
Clinical Bottom Line The systematic review below concluded that the use of EMG....”for diagnostic purposes of temporomandibular disorders remains in doubt, and is not at present recommended.” (See Comments on the CAT below)
Best Evidence (you may view more info by clicking on the PubMed ID link)
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
#1) 17716262Suvinen/2007Asymptomatic subjects and subjects with TMD symptoms.Systematic Review (included some low level evidence papers)
Key resultsRegarding diagnostic ability, the authors cited critical reviews of early EMG studies that questioned the diagnostic value of EMG. These reviews criticized early study designs as having inadequate control groups, lack of validity and reliability of control groups, inadequate statistical analyses, large variability and lack of normative data. The authors also point out that recent reviews have shown few well controlled studies and still present with wide variability. Also few studies have attempted to correlate EMG results to the most studied assessment index, the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD.
Evidence Search "Electromyography"[Mesh] AND "Temporomandibular Joint Disorders/diagnosis"[Mesh] ...view in PubMed
Comments on
The Evidence
The article is an extremely thorough systematic review, however, many of the papers included in the review were of low quality.
Applicability These results apply to all patients with these disorders.
Specialty/Discipline (Oral Medicine/Pathology/Radiology) (General Dentistry) (Oral Surgery)
Keywords Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, Electromyography, Muscles of Mastication, TMD
ID# 484
Date of submission: 01/07/2010spacer Revised: 12/06/2011
E-mail hogans@uthscsa.edu
Author Reagan A. Bonner
Co-author(s) Steven Hogan
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor/Co-author John D. Rugh, PhD
Faculty mentor/Co-author e-mail rugh@uthscsa.edu
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
post a rationale
None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
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by Neil Bealka (San Antonio, TX) on 04/09/2012
A PubMed search was conducted April 2012 ,and a more recent publication was found: PubMed ID 22467695. Both articles found were systematic reviews with similar results but the article chosen is a more recent publication.

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