Use of 3D photo assessment to evaluate TMJ involvement in Childhood Arthritis


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is often inflamed in childhood arthritis. However, active inflammation of the TMJ is difficult to diagnose as it frequently presents without specific clinical symptoms. The golden standard for diagnosis is an MRI with follow-up imaging by MRI. Access to serial MRIs is difficult due to the associated costs, the lengthy examination and the need for sedation in young children. 3D photogrammetry has shown to be a reliable, quick and non-invasive method to evaluate dentofacial deformities in patients with genetic diagnosis with facial involvement. Patients can sit on a chair or the lap of their parent for the 3D photo. Patients who are diagnosed on the spectrum of JIA and may or may not be scheduled for an TMJ-MRI will have a 3D photo taken and a short clinical examination of their jaw function (opening and closing of mouth). We predict we can see changes on the 3D photo and we can minimize the need for an MRI.

Our study will aim to assess the use of 3D facial photogrammetry for JIA associated TMJ arthritis and to develop a method that is easy accessible. This will help determine which patients needs additional imaging by MRI and reduce the burden of MRIs on the child and family. Patients who will be referred for an TMJ-MRI by their rheumatologist will be asked to participate in this study and a 3D photo will be performed at the day of the MRI. On the same day a short facial examination and some TMJ specific questionnaires will be performed.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Male, Female, Transgender, Other

Inclusion criteria:

1) Diagnosis of JIA before the age of 16,
2) Potentially referred for an MRI of their TMJ by their primary rheumatologist. The study will include all JIA patients who may or may not be sent for clinical TMJ MRI.
3) Ability to speak and read/write English


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Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Recruitment is through the Alberta Children's Hospital Rheumatology Clinic only

Principal investigator:

Marinka Twilt

Clinical trial: