Incidence of the type and calcification patterns in patients with elongated styloid process

J Int Med Res. 2005 Jan-Feb;33(1):96-102. doi: 10.1177/147323000503300110.


We investigated the incidence of elongated styloid process (Eagle's syndrome) using panoramic radiographs taken of 860 patients referred to our clinic. Any styloid process identified was classified according to its length, type and the pattern of calcification. Fifty-nine elongated styloid processes were identified in 32 patients (3.7%), most being bilateral; 24 patients were female and eight were male (female/male ratio: 3:1). The mean age of these patients was 43 +/- 14 years (range: 18 - 78 years). Type I (elongated) was the most frequent type on both sides (42/59); and the most frequent patterns of calcification were partially calcified on the left side (18/59) and completely calcified on the right side (16/59). Only two patients were symptomatic. A corrected differential diagnosis is important to distinguish elongated styloid process from other pathologies with partially overlapping symptoms. We would recommend that clinicians consider the possibility of Eagle's syndrome when both the clinical and radiographic evidence support this diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcinosis* / classification
  • Calcinosis* / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Syndrome