Temporomandibular joint arthritis in sickle cell disease: a case report

Maíra da Silva Caracas, Sumatra P Jales, Levi H Jales Neto, Joice Carla da Silva Castro, Liliana Mitie Suganuma, Guilherme Henrique Hencklain Fonseca, Sandra Fatima Menosi Gualandro, José Tadeu Tesseroli de Siqueira
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology 2013, 115 (2): e31-5
We report a rare case of aseptic arthritis in the temporomandibular joint of a patient with sickle cell anemia. A 22-year-old woman with sickle cell disease, in the 18th week of gestation, was referred by her hematologist to investigate a sudden mouth opening limitation and severe pain on her left cheek. The patient received a standard pain assessment protocol, clinical examination, and complementary exams (complete blood count, hemoglobin electrophoresis, blood solubility test, panoramic radiograph, and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]). The blood results were consistent with a sickle cell crisis and the MRI showed an inflammatory process around the left temporomandibular joint. Treatment with opioid analgesics and blood transfusion provided good results. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that can cause arthritis of the temporomandibular joint, and although it is rare, clinicians should be attentive to the differential diagnosis in patients with this disease.

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