A Quantitative Evaluation of Inflammatory Cells in Human Temporomandibular Joint Tissues From Patients With and Without Implants

Aurelio Alonso, Shanti Kaimal, John Look, James Swift, James Fricton, Sandra Myers, Lois Kehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous studies made only qualitative assessments of immune cell responses to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) implant wear debris. The aim of this study was to perform a quantitative comparison of inflammatory cell types in TMJ tissues with implant wear debris, TMJ tissues with a history of disc pathology without implant debris, and TMJ tissues from normal control subjects. Materials and Methods: TMJ tissues were collected from the following 3 groups of subjects: 1) individuals with failed TMJ implants (implant group, n = 10), 2) patients with TMJ disc pathology but no history of implant placement (nonimplant surgery group, n = 10), and normal cadaveric tissues with no history of surgery (control group, n = 10). Tissue sections (5 μm) from all subjects were stained with hematoxylin-eosin, after which cell counts were done for 2 types of inflammatory cells: multinucleated giant cells and lymphocytes. Mean inflammatory cell counts from the 3 groups were compared by use of a 1-way analysis of variance procedure and Bonferroni adjustment to maintain an overall type I error rate of .05. Results: Implant group tissues contained significantly more inflammatory cells than tissues from the nonimplant surgery and control groups (P < .0001). Multinucleated giant cells were only present in implant group tissues. Although the high number of multinucleated giant cells present in the implant group obscured a total count of lymphocytes for that group, lymphocyte cell counts were still significantly greater (P < .005) in implant group tissues than in tissues from the other 2 groups. Conclusions: Our data provide quantitative confirmation that the presence of Proplast-Teflon implant (Vitek, Houston, TX) wear debris is associated with a significant increase in the number of local multinucleated giant cells and lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-796
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank NIDCR's TMJ Registry and Repository (funded by National Institutes of Health grant N01 DE22635) for its assistance in acquiring and processing the tissue specimens used for this study. In particular, they appreciate the help provided by Yajing Li and Abeer Yakout in preparation of the specimens and collection of data. They also thank Dr Darryl Hamamoto for his review and suggested modifications of portions of this manuscript.

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