Scientific article
Case report

Unusual fatal petrositis presenting as myofascial pain and dysfunction of the temporal muscle

Published inQuintessence international, vol. 42, no. 5, p. 419-422
Publication date2011

Petrositis is a rare and severe complication of acute otitis media and mastoiditis. Although the extension of the inflammatory process from the petrous apex to the adjacent Meckel cave can lead to trigeminal pain, an irritation of the trigeminal nerve roots resulting in acute or chronic hyperactivity of masticatory muscles has never been reported. We report here the unusual case of an 86-year-old man who presented with a handicapping myofascial pain and dysfunction syndrome of the right temporal muscle as a heralding manifestation of an unusual form of petrositis. The patient progressively developed a retropharyngeal abscess, a right sphenoid sinusitis, and fatal meningitis. This case demonstrated that (1) myofascial pain and dysfunction syndrome that does not respond to conventional treatments may suggest an unusual etiology and warrant further medical investigations and a detailed medical history and that (2) petrositis can manifest itself with atypical clinical symptoms and radiologic signs.

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastoiditis/diagnosis/microbiology
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal/microbiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure
  • Otitis Media/diagnosis/microbiology
  • Petrous Bone/pathology
  • Pneumococcal Infections/diagnosis
  • Retropharyngeal Abscess/microbiology
  • Sphenoid Sinusitis/microbiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome/diagnosis
Citation (ISO format)
LORETAN, Stefan, DUVOISIN, Bernard, SCOLOZZI, Paolo. Unusual fatal petrositis presenting as myofascial pain and dysfunction of the temporal muscle. In: Quintessence international, 2011, vol. 42, n° 5, p. 419–422.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0033-6572

Technical informations

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