Infectious Myositis of the Jaw Presenting as Trismus of Unknown Origin

  • Kim, Hee-Young (Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University) ;
  • Chung, Jin-Woo (Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2020.11.11
  • Accepted : 2020.12.18
  • Published : 2020.12.30


Infectious myositis, an infection of the skeletal muscles, is a rare condition and potentially life-threatening if not detected and treated in the early stages. This clinical entity may arise from various pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. A propagation of contiguous infection, penetrating trauma, vascular insufficiency, or hematogenous spreading of microorganisms can cause infectious myositis. Though several cases have been reported in large muscle groups in the lower extremities, there are only a few reports on infectious myositis of the masticatory muscles. We report three cases of infectious myositis presenting jaw pain and trismus. Unlike a common head and neck infection caused by the spreading of odontogenic origin, the early diagnosis of infectious myositis was difficult because no specific lesion suspected to be the infection source was observed in the physical examination and the plain radiographs. Advanced imaging modalities such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, and laboratory evaluation is useful for the early detection of infectious myositis.


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