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Table 3 Anatomical landmarks of periodontal and adjacent structures depicted in MRI and CT referring to imaging advantages

From: Comparison of computed tomography and high-field (3.0 T) magnetic resonance imaging of age-related variances in selected equine maxillary cheek teeth and adjacent tissues

Anatomical region



Periodontal apparatus

Periodontal space:

Periodontal ligament (PDL)

Slightly blurry, isodense gap between hard dental tissue and alveolar bone, moderate distinction from hard dental and bony tissue (transverse, dorsal)

Hyperintense gap, good distinction of hard dental tissue and alveolar bone*

(T2w and PDw dorsal)

Alveolar bone

Hyperdense bone*

(transverse, dorsal)

Hypointense cortical bone, marked off by the PDL (T2w and STIR transverse)

Maxillary sinus

Mucosa and cortical bone

Respiratory epithelium: not visible; sinus: air-filled and hypodense; hyperdense thin-walled cortical bone* (transverse)

Signal free cortical bone, delineated by a hyperintense line of mucosa* (T2w and STIR transverse)


Soft tissue inside and bony structures

Soft tissue inside the canal: low attenuated

IOC*: high attenuated, very well distinguishable (transverse)

IOC: signal free, becomes evident through the bright mucosa covering the bony surface of the maxillary sinus (T2w and STIR transverse)

Soft tissue*: inhomogeneous, high to moderate signal, intense structures inside: nerve with moderate signal intensity, blood vessels with high or low signal intensity (T2w and STIR transverse)

  1. *superior imaging modality by comparison of the respective structure in CT and MR images (in brackets: the best imaging modalities and section planes)