Giant cell arteritis misdiagnosed as temporomandibular disorder: a case report and review of the literature

J Orofac Pain. 2009 Fall;23(4):360-5.


Giant Cell Arteritis Misdiagnosed as Temporomandibular Disorder: A Case Report and Review of the Literature Shoshana Reiter Ephraim Winocur Carole Goldsmith Alona Emodi-Perlman Meir Gorsky Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis involving medium and large-sized arteries, most commonly the extracranial branches of the carotid artery. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to avoid severe complications. This article reports on a GCA case and discusses how the orofacial manifestations of GCA can lead to misdiagnosis of GCA as temporomandibular disorder. GCA should be included in the differential diagnosis of orofacial pain in the elderly based on the knowledge of related signs and symptoms, mainly jaw claudication, hard end-feel limitation of range of motion, and temporal headache.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / diagnosis*
  • Headache / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnosis
  • Pain Measurement
  • Temporal Arteries / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis*


  • C-Reactive Protein