Skip to main content

Trismus in patients with malignant tumours in the head and neck

  • Keitchi Ichimura (a1) and Toshlyoshi Tanaka (a1)

In order to elucidate the causal mechanism of trismus in head and neck cancer, 21 patients manifesting trismus out of 212 patients with malignant tumours in the head and neck (treated in Tokyo University Branch Hospital from 1983 to 1991) were reviewed. Nine patients developed trismus either by infiltration of the muscles of mastication or by reflex spasm. Trismus was considered to have developed as a result of irradiation in five cases and of surgical intervention in seven cases. In some cases of oropharyngeal cancer, CT revealed no evidence of tumour invasion into the infratemporal fossa when trismus occurred, suggesting that trismus was caused either by the reflex spasm of muscles or by microinvasion too small to be seen in CT films. Maxillary sinus tumours were often without tnsmus even when they extended posteriorly to the infratemporal fossa.

Corresponding author
Keiichi Ichimura, M. D., Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan. Fax: 81-3-3814-9486
Hide All

This paper was presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan held in Nagoya, 15–17 May 1992.

Hide All
Bashiri, H., Suen, J. Y. (1989) Dental consideration. In Cancer of the Head and Neck. 2nd Edition. (Myers, E. N., Suen, J. Y., eds.), Churchill-Livingstone Inc., New York, pp 179186.
Beekhuis, G. J., Harrington, E. B. (1965) Trismus: etiology and management of inability to open the mouth. Laryngoscope 75: 12341258.
Derksen, A. A. D. (1970) [Afwijkingen van het Kauwstelsel Oosthoek, Utrecht, cited from Ter Haar, B. G. A., van Hoof, R. F. (1974)]. The trismus-pseudocompylodactyly syndrome. Journal of Medical Genetics 11: 4149.
Hoppe, R. T., Goffinet, D. R., Bagshaw, M. A. (1976) Carcinoma of the nasopharynx. Eighteen years experience with megavoltage radiation therapy. Cancer 37: 26052612.
Johnson, J. T., Myers, E. N., Curtin, H. D. (1989) Tumors of the parapharyngeal space. In Cancer of the Head and Neck. 2nd Edition. (Myers, E. N., Suen, J. Y., eds.), Churchill-Livingstone, New York, pp 669690.
Kveton, J. F., Pillsbury, H. L. (1980) Breaking trismus to facilitate drainage of peritonsillar abscess. Laryngoscope 70: 18921893.
Mesic, J. B., Fletcher, G. H., Goepfert, H. (1981) Megavoltage irradiation of epithelial tumours of the nasopharynx. International Journal of Radiation, Oncology, Biology, Physics 7: 447453.
O'Leary, M. R. (1990) Trismus: modern pathophysiological correlates. American Journal of Emergency Medicine 8: 220227.
Parsons, J. T. (1984) The effect of radiation on normal tissues of the head and neck. In Management of Head and Neck Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach. (Million, R. R., Cassisi, N. J., eds.), I. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp 173208.
Shidnia, H., Hornback, N. B. (1987) Radiation therapy of tumors of the salivary glands. In Comprehensive Management of Head and Neck Tumors. (Thawley, S. E., Panje, W. R., eds.), Saunders, W. B. Philadelphia, pp 10901103.
Steelman, R., Sokol, J. (1986) Quantification of trismus following irradiation of the temporomandibular joint. Missouri Dental Journal 66: 2122.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed