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Reduction of jaw opening (trismus) in giant cell arteritis
  1. R Nir-Paz1,
  2. A Gross2,
  3. T Chajek-Shaul1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
  2. 2Department of Oral Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Tova Chajek-Shaul, Department of Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus, PO Box 24035, Jerusalem 91240, Israel;


Objective: To study the prevalence and the clinical characterisation of jaw problems in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Methods: the prevalence of such symptoms in patients with GCA was evaluated by performing a retrospective analysis of all patients with GCA and polymyalgia rheumatica who were diagnosed during admission to Hadassah University Hospital. Ten patients reported previously in the literature were also evaluated.

Results: Six patients out of 88 (6.8%) had complaints of reduction in jaw opening. These six patients seemed to have a much more abrupt onset of disease with shorter duration until diagnosis, higher prevalence of eye involvement (50% v 27%), and a higher rate of positive pathology (100%).

Conclusions: Reduction in jaw opening in the appropriate setting may indicate the presence of GCA. This sign should not be overlooked in the presence of the claudication sign as it seems to reflect more severe GCA disease.

  • trismus
  • giant cell arteritis
  • GCA, giant cell arteritis
  • ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • PMR, polymyalgia rheumatica

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