Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease and MRSA septic arthritis of the atlantoaxial joint in a patient with Tourette syndrome
  1. Edward Nicholas Northrup and
  2. Benjamin Robert Pflederer
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Benjamin Robert Pflederer, drbenpf{at}


A 45-year-old male patient with Tourette syndrome presented to the emergency department with worsening neck pain and stiffness of 1-week duration. Associated symptoms included headache, hoarse voice, trismus and odynophagia. The patient was haemodynamically stable without fevers or leucocytosis. He exhibited cervical spinal and paraspinal tenderness with very limited range of motion. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C reactive protein were elevated, and blood cultures grew methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Lumbar puncture was unremarkable. CT and MRI of the neck showed calcification of the longus colli, fluid and capsular distention of C1–C2 joints, enhancement of the joint capsule and retropharyngeal oedema suggestive of septic arthritis. Fluid was aspirated from C1 to C2 joint by interventional radiology and showed calcium pyrophosphate crystals and heavy MRSA colonisation, consistent with both pseudogout and septic arthritis of the cervical vertebrae. The patient was started on a 6-week course of daptomycin and showed gradual improvements in neck pain and mobility.

  • movement disorders (other than Parkinsons)
  • bone and joint infections
  • rheumatology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors ENN: primary author of manuscript. BRP: development of approach, extensive manuscript review/revision, active guidance throughout.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.