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Crowned dens syndrome presenting as pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO)


Background. Deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the cervical spine around the odontoid process may lead to neck pain and fever. This condition is called crowned dens syndrome (CDS).

Case report. An 89-year-old female presented with complaints of fever for one-month duration and recent onset neck pain. During her admission, she developed right knee pain with evidence of chondrocalcinosis on X-ray. Considering her clinical presentation in setting of pseudogout, she had a CT scan of her neck that revealed erosion of the dens and hyperdense soft tissue surrounding the odontoid process. Based on her clinical and radiologic presentation, she was diagnosed with crowned dens syndrome and started on NSAIDs. Unfortunately, she did not respond to NSAIDs and was switched to Colchicine, which resulted in immediate improvement in her symptoms.

Conclusions. We present this case to stress the importance of keeping crowned dens syndrome as one of the differentials in an elderly patient presenting with fever and neck pain.

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Medizin, Klinische Medizin, Allgemeinmedizin, Innere Medizin, andere, Kardiologie, Gastroenterologie, Rheumatologie