Background: Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease is a condition in which calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal is deposited in joint cartilage and ligaments. Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease that involves calcification around the odontoid process of the second cervical vertebra is called crowned dens syndrome. Crowned dens syndrome is accompanied by fever in addition to acute and intense neck, posterior head, and temporal pain; thus, distinguishing crowned dens syndrome may be difficult in the presence of odontogenic infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing a patient with crowned dens syndrome with coexisting odontogenic infection. Case presentation: A 75-year-old Japanese woman was examined in the Emergency Department of this hospital due to a chief complaint of worsened buccal swelling on the left side. An odontogenic infection was considered, and she underwent her first examination. She presented with a body temperature of 37.4 °C, marked swelling and tenderness of her left lower eyelid through to her left cheek, and pain on the left temporal area. Blood tests revealed a leukocyte count of 6700/μL and a C-reactive protein level of 7.15 mg/dL. There was swelling and pain around the gingiva and acute purulent apical periodontitis of left maxillary second premolar. Cellulitis of the left cheek was diagnosed. After performing drainage of the pus, antibiotic treatment was initiated. Although her clinical symptoms improved, blood tests on day 9 of hospitalization revealed a leukocyte count of 6500/μL and a C-reactive protein level of 25.62 mg/dL, which were indicative of worsening symptoms. Computed tomography was performed to evaluate remote infection and images revealed a calcification around the odontoid process of her second cervical vertebra. When she was referred to the Orthopedic Surgery Department, pseudogout of the cervical spine was diagnosed. Subsequently, oral acetaminophen was initiated, and both her leukocyte count and C-reactive protein improved markedly. Conclusions: In the presence of persistent fever and abnormally high leukocyte and C-reactive protein indicative of an inflammatory reaction, coexistence of pseudogout should be considered. In particular, when symptoms of temporal pain are present, the possibility of pseudogout of the cervical spine must be considered in the differential diagnosis.
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