Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 2653–2661 | Cite as

Assessment of condylar morphology and position using MSCT in an Asian population

  • Qi Liu
  • Xiaoer Wei
  • Juanjuan Guan
  • Ran Wang
  • Derong Zou
  • Lvfeng YuEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of the present study was to investigate the volume, surface, morphometric index (MI), and position of the condyle in a normal population by applying Mimics 17.0 software. Then, the difference between left and right sides, sex, and age can be explored, which will contribute to establish the reference value of condylar morphology and position in normal individuals, and help us to study characteristics of condylar morphology and position in abnormal individuals.

Materials and methods

Three-hundred subjects were enrolled in our study from the radiology department of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital. They were divided into three groups according to the age: group 1 (18–24 years old), group 2 (25–34 years old), and group 3 (35–44 years old). Each group included 100 subjects (with 50 males and 50 females). They were examined using multislice computed tomography (MSCT) after that. All images of condyle were reconstructed by Mimics 17.0 software, so as to measure the volume, surface, and MI of condyle, and to analyze the position of condyle in the articular fossa by means of joint spaces.


The differences of condylar volume, surface, and MI between left and right sides were not obvious (P > 0.05). The condylar volume and surface were greater in males than females (P < 0.05), while their condylar MI existed no difference (P > 0.05). No statistical differences were found in volume and surface among three age groups. However, the MI of group 1 was statistically lower than that of group 3 (P < 0.05). On the other hand, no significant differences were found between left and right condylar position (P > 0.05). Nevertheless, there were significant differences of condylar position regarding the gender and age (P < 0.05).


This study showed no significant differences in condylar morphology and position between left and right sides, but factors of gender and age were proven to have a certain influence on the morphology and position of the condyle. This information can be clinically useful in establishing the diagnostic criteria for condylar morphology and position in the normal Asian population.

Clinical relevance

Examination of condylar morphology and position is important for evaluating the abnormalities and bony changes that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). So, this will be conducive to the diagnosis and the evaluation of therapeutic effect of temporomandibular joint diseases. Also, it is important to evaluate these indexes prior to commencing orthodontic treatment, because TMJ abnormalities play a critical role in orthodontic treatment planning.


Condyle Volume Surface Morphometric index Condylar position 



We acknowledge the funding support from Project of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (Grant No. 201540177).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The research was approved by the local Ethical Committee of Shanghai Jiao Jong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital (No. 2015-KY-003(T)).

Informed consent

All the participants took part voluntarily in this study, and the verbal consent from each of them was taken after being informed about the nature of the study detailedly.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Liu
    • 1
  • Xiaoer Wei
    • 2
  • Juanjuan Guan
    • 1
  • Ran Wang
    • 1
  • Derong Zou
    • 1
  • Lvfeng Yu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of StomatologyShanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s HospitalShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyShanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s HospitalShanghaiChina

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