Crowned dens syndrome: a rare cause of neck pain and fever

Matthew Jiang and Sukumar Navanathan
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.01077
Published online: 20 March 2017

An 86-year-old man presented with acute severe neck pain, restricted neck movement and fever. The white cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein were all elevated. After excluding an infective aetiology, review of computed tomography images of the cervical spine (Figure) showed calcification of the transverse ligament of the atlas with crown-like density around the odontoid process. This was consistent with a diagnosis of crowned dens syndrome, an uncommon manifestation of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate deposition disease.1,2 The patient’s symptoms were self-limiting over 1 week without the use of anti-inflammatories or corticosteroids.

  • Matthew Jiang
  • Sukumar Navanathan

  • Eastern Health, Melbourne, VIC



remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.