Magnetic resonance imaging in endodontics: a literature review
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has recently been used for the evaluation of dental pulp anatomy, vitality, and regeneration. This study reviewed the recent use of MRI in the endodontic field.
Literature published from January 2000 to March 2017 was searched in PubMed using the following Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms: (1) MRI and (dental pulp anatomy or endodontic pulp); (2) MRI and dental pulp regeneration. Studies were narrowed down based on specific inclusion criteria and categorized as in vitro, in vivo, or dental pulp regeneration studies. The MRI sequences and imaging findings were summarized.
In the in vitro studies on dental pulp anatomy, T1-weighted imaging with high resolution was frequently used to evaluate dental pulp morphology, demineralization depth, and tooth abnormalities. Other sequences such as apparent diffusion coefficient mapping and sweep imaging with Fourier transformation were used to evaluate pulpal fluid and decayed teeth, and short-T2 tissues (dentin and enamel), respectively. In the in vivo studies, pulp vitality and reperfusion were visible with fat-saturated T2-weighted imaging or contrast-enhanced T1-weighted imaging. In both the in vitro and in vivo studies, MRI could reveal pulp regeneration after stem cell therapy. Stem cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles were also visible on MRI. Angiogenesis induced by stem cells could be confirmed on enhanced T1-weighted imaging.
MRI can be successfully used to visualize pulp morphology as well as pulp vitality and regeneration. The use of MRI in the endodontic field is likely to increase in the future.
KeywordsEndodontics MRI Dental pulp regeneration
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Yoshiko Ariji, Eiichiro Ariji, Misako Nakashima, and Koichiro Iohara declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any research on human or animal subjects conducted by any of the authors.