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Case Reports in Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 585789, 3 pages
Case Report

Carotidynia Possibly due to Localized Vasculitis in a Patient with Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection

Chair and Rheumatology Unit, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Medical School, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Policlinico di Modena, Via del Pozzo 71, 41100 Modena, Italy

Received 2 September 2013; Accepted 25 October 2013

Academic Editors: T. Etgen, H. Naess, and M. Reinhard

Copyright © 2013 Giulia Cassone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carotidynia is a syndrome characterized by tenderness of the carotid artery near the bifurcation due to numerous, heterogeneous causes. Here we reported the case of a 31-year-old Moroccan woman with right-sided neck pain and tenderness with irradiation to ipsilateral ear, eye, and occipital region. Clinical symptoms and imaging findings were suggestive of primary variant of carotidynia syndrome. In particular, color-Doppler ultrasonography revealed a concentric wall thickening of the distal common carotid artery, while thoracic magnetic resonance showed localized perivascular enhancement of the soft tissue in the right medial-distal common carotid artery in T1-weighted images, without intraluminal diameter variation. Moreover, careful clinicoserological and imaging investigations (cranial, cervical, and thoracic angiocomputed tomography and magnetic resonance) excluded well-known disorders potentially responsible for carotidynia syndrome. The patient was scarcely responsive to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but clinical symptoms resolved after three months. Of interest, the patient showed latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (positive tuberculosis interferon-gamma release assay; QuantiFERON-TB Gold); this finding suggested a possible triggering role of mycobacterial antigens in the immune-mediated mechanism responsible for localized carotid injury.