Benign masseter muscle hypertrophy

Daniel Zeni Rispoli Paulo M. Camargo José L. Pires Jr Vinicius R. Fonseca Karina K. Mandelli Marcela A.C. Pereira About the authors

Abstracts

A hipertrofia idiopática do músculo masseter (HIM) é uma patologia pouco freqüente e de causa desconhecida. Alguns autores correlacionam tal condição com hábitos de mascar gomas, disfunção da articulação temporomandibular (ATM), hipertrofias congênitas e funcionais, e distúrbios emocionais (nervosismo e ansiedade). A maioria dos pacientes queixa-se da alteração estética decorrente da assimetria facial, também chamada "face quadrada", no entanto, sintomas como trismo, protrusão e bruxismo também podem ocorrer. Os objetivos deste estudo foram: relatar um caso de HIM e descrever a sintomatologia e o tratamento realizado. O paciente relatava aumento bilateral na região do ângulo da mandíbula de evolução lenta e progressiva. Negava dor ou desconforto, porém se queixava de otalgia bilateral, trismo noturno e ansiedade. Ao exame físico, observou-se hipertrofia bilateral de masseter sem alterações inflamatórias no local. Foi indicado tratamento cirúrgico com abordagem extra-oral. Exames complementares são indicados na dúvida diagnóstica. A conduta terapêutica varia de conservadora a cirúrgica, sendo que esta depende principalmente da experiência e da habilidade do cirurgião.

ansiedade; hipertrofia; músculo masseter


Idiopathic hypertrophy of the masseter muscle is a rare disorder of unknown cause. Some authors associate it with the habit of chewing gum, temporo-mandibular joint disorder, congenital and functional hypertrophies, and emotional disorders (stress and nervousness). Most patients complain of the cosmetic change caused by facial asymmetry, also called square face, however, symptoms such as trismus, protrusion and bruxism may also occur. The goals of the present investigation were: to report a case of idiopathic masseter hypertrophy, describe its symptoms and treatment. The patient reported bilateral bulging in the region of the mandible angle, of slow and progressive evolution. He did not complain of pain or discomfort, however there was bilateral otalgia, nighttime trismus and stress. In his physical exam we noticed bilateral masseter hypertrophy without local inflammatory alterations. We indicated surgical treatment with an extraoral approach. Complementary tests are indicated when there is diagnostic doubts. Treatment varies from conservative to surgical, and the later depends on surgeon skill and experience.

anxiety; hypertrophy; muscle


CASE REPORT

  • Benign masseter muscle hypertrophy
    Daniel Zeni RispoliI; Paulo M. CamargoII; José L. Pires JrIII; Vinicius R. FonsecaIV; Karina K. MandelliV; Marcela A.C. PereiraVI
  • IHead of the ENT and Head and Face Surgery Department at Hospital Angelina Caron

    IIHead of the Larynx and Ear Ward of the ENT and Head and Face Surgery Department at HAC

    IIIHead of the Otoneurology and Tinnitus Ward of the ENT and Head and Face Surgery Department at HAC

    IVSupervisor of the Pediatric ENT Ward at HAC

    VStudent at the ENT and Head and Face Surgery Department at HAC

    VIStudent at the ENT and Head and Face Surgery Department at HAC

    Send correspondence to

    SUMMARY

    Idiopathic hypertrophy of the masseter muscle is a rare disorder of unknown cause. Some authors associate it with the habit of chewing gum, temporo-mandibular joint disorder, congenital and functional hypertrophies, and emotional disorders (stress and nervousness). Most patients complain of the cosmetic change caused by facial asymmetry, also called square face, however, symptoms such as trismus, protrusion and bruxism may also occur. The goals of the present investigation were: to report a case of idiopathic masseter hypertrophy, describe its symptoms and treatment. The patient reported bilateral bulging in the region of the mandible angle, of slow and progressive evolution. He did not complain of pain or discomfort, however there was bilateral otalgia, nighttime trismus and stress. In his physical exam we noticed bilateral masseter hypertrophy without local inflammatory alterations. We indicated surgical treatment with an extraoral approach. Complementary tests are indicated when there is diagnostic doubts. Treatment varies from conservative to surgical, and the later depends on surgeon skill and experience.

    Keywords: anxiety, hypertrophy, muscle.

    INTRODUCTION

    Idiopathic masseter muscle hypertrophy (IMMH) was first described by Legg in 1880, reporting on the case of a 10-year-old girl with concurrent idiopathic temporalis muscle hypertrophy1-4,7. The masseter muscle is essential for adequate mastication and is located laterally to the mandibular ramus, and thus plays an important role in facial esthetics. A hypertrophied masseter will alter facial lines, generating discomfort and negative cosmetic impacts for many patients1,2. Muscle function may also be impaired, thus introducing conditions such as trismus, protrusion, and bruxism2,3. The etiology of this condition remains obscure1-6, but some authors have correlated it to gum chewing, psychological disorders, and temporomandibular joint disorders, to name a few. It may affect anyone, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity1-3,6, and also involve both sides of the face1-6. Differential diagnosis requires clinical history and physical examination and may even include complementary imaging resources such as CT scans to exclude other lesions1,5. Differential diagnosis must include muscle tumors, salivary gland diseases, parotid tumors, parotid inflammatory diseases, and intrinsic masseter muscle myopathy1,2,4. Treatment can be conservative (using tranquilizers, mouthguards to minimize teeth clenching, psychological counseling etc1,3,4) or surgical (intraoral and extraoral approaches1-3,5). This paper describes one case of idiopathic masseter muscle hypertrophy, reviews the literature and proposes an effective treatment option for the patient.

    LITERATURE REVIEW

    Incidence

    IMMH is considered to be a rare disease, in spite of the growing esthetic concern manifested around it by patients2. People of Asian descent are more frequently involved8. According to a review of 108 cases described in the literature until 1984, Baek found that patient average age was 30 years, 57% were males, 60% had bilateral involvement, and only five patients had concurrent temporalis muscle hypertrophy13.

    Etiology

    This origin of this condition is still unknown1-6. Some authors have correlated idiopathic masseter muscle hypertrophy to a variety of conditions, such as defective teeth, dysfunctional mastication, gum chewing, TMJ disorders, teeth grinding, bruxism, and clenching teeth during sleep2. Therefore, anyone with the above mentioned conditions may develop unilateral or bilateral masseter muscle hypertrophy. People with psychological disorders or emotional disturbances that impact proprioception and the ability to keep the tone of the masseter muscle are at a higher risk of evolving to IMMH. According to Teixeira, there are two types of masseter muscle hypertrophy: congenital or familial and acquired due to functional hypertrophy2.

    Differential diagnosis

    Idiopathic masseter muscle hypertrophy must be accurately diagnosed, as it may be mistaken for other diseases. Among them are unilateral compensatory hypertrophy (due to hypotrophy or hypoplasia in the contralateral side), masseter tumor, salivary gland disease, parotid tumor, parotid inflammatory disease, and masseter muscle intrinsic myopathy1,2,4.

    Diagnosis and symptoms

    Diagnosis can be produced from clinical examination, directed interview, panoramic x-ray1-6, and muscle palpation. This last diagnostic test consists of palpating the muscle with the fingers while the patient clenches his/her teeth so the muscle is more prominent during contraction. With the muscle relaxed and the patient's mouth slightly open, extraoral palpation with both hands will pinpoint the intramuscular location of the hypertrophy. Under relaxation, the jaw angle may reveal irregularities that on the x-ray image may appear to be a bone increase2. According to Seltzer and Wang (1987), CT and MRI scans produce excellent images for the diagnosis of various masseter muscle conditions9. According to Maxwell e Weggoner (1951)10, neurologic tests and electromyograms are not useful in diagnosing this condition.

    Most patients only complain of cosmetic problems, as an increased masseter introduces facial asymmetry, also called 'square' face1-6. Some individuals complain of pain, headache, muscle stress, trismus, and intermittent masticatory claudication1-4.

    Treatment

    Clinical treatment is based on psychological counseling for patients with psychiatric disorders, use of mouthguards, antispasm and ansiolytic drugs, analgesics, and physical therapy1,3,4. Results are good for patients with mild hypertrophy. There is no reliable report on the literature on the success rates of isolated clinical therapy.

    Surgical treatment was proposed for the first time by Gurney in 1947. The procedure consists of a sub-mandibular incision and the removal of 3/4 to 2/3 of all muscle tissue available from the muscle upper aponeurosis to the lower mandibular border11.

    Mandibular angle osteotomy was supported by Adams in 19501.

    Removal of the masseter muscle insertion by means of a triangular incision was employed by Martensson in 1950 in a patient with history of bruxism and unilateral masseter muscle hypertrophy12.

    Seventeen patients were surgically treated using the intraoral approach by Beckers in 1977. An internal muscle band was removed from the hypertrophied masseter (from the upper insertion in the zigomatic arc to the lower insertion in the mandibular angle), thus avoiding the production of a visible scar on the patient's face and reducing the possibility of injuring branches of the facial nerve14.

    The extraoral approach is often used to repair IMMH. The procedure is carried out through a sub-mandibular incision (Risdon) followed by the removal of an internal vertical band of the masseter muscle equivalent to approximately 2/3 of its thickness1.

    CASE REPORT

    Patient M.A.S., aged 24, came to the Otorhinolaryngology Department complaining of bilateral increase of the mandibular angle region with onset six years prior to the visit (Fig. 1). The patient claimed the area was growing slowly but steadily, yet painlessly to palpation, and that it did not limit mouth opening. The patient also complained of bilateral otalgia, nocturnal trismus, and anxiety.


    Physical examination revealed the patient had bilateral masseter muscle hypertrophy without further alteration. Data from clinical history and physical examination (intraoral and extraoral inspection and palpation led to the diagnosis of bilateral idiopathic masseter muscle hypertrophy.

    The patient had no family history of masseter hypertrophy. Surgery was offered for cosmetic and functional reasons.

    Procedure description:

    1) A sub-mandibular incision (Risdon) of approximately 5 cm was made isolating the mandibular marginal nerve and the facial vessels;

    2) The muscle was incised approximately 5 mm above the mandibular basilar. The entire ascending branch of the masseter was detached, and a vertical internal muscle band equivalent to 2/3 of the thickness of the muscle was resected;

    3) After the muscle was resected, the remaining external third was sutured to its site of origin onto the muscle stump inserted in the mandibular basilar;

    4) The bed was drained at the end of the procedure and a compressive dressing was put in place. The drain was removed 24 hours after the surgery;

    5) Physical therapy was offered between the 10th and 14th day post-operatively.

    DISCUSSION

    IMMH is a rare condition, but an increasing number of cases and surgical techniques have been recently described in the literature. The causes of IMMH require further clarification, but certain conditions seem to be associated with masseter hypertrophy such as psychological disorders, gum chewing, and dysfunctional TMJ. Many authors have reported that anxiety is often present in IMMH patients. The trismus experienced by our patient was related to stress and anxiety episodes. According to the literature, cosmetic alterations are the main complaint of IMMH patients. Our patient, however, complained of otalgia associated with TMJ disorder. Papers in the literature also describe masseter muscle and TMJ functional disorders as conditions associated with IMMH1-6.

    IMMH diagnosis is eminently clinical, and is based on identification of symptoms and cosmetic facial alterations connected to the progress of the disease. Physical examination through intra and extraoral palpation of an inflammation-free muscle serve to support the diagnosis. The main items to be considered in differential diagnosis are tumors in the large salivary glands (such as the parotid and submandibular), bone tumors in the middle and lower third of the face, muscle and salivary inflammatory processes, and nodular swelling. In cases of diagnostic doubt Seltzer and Wang (1987) recommend complementary exams such as CT and MRI scans that may help greatly in the diagnosis of masseter muscle conditions, salivary gland diseases, and bone or vascular tumor processes9. According to Maxwell and Weggoner (1951) neurologic tests and electromyography are not required.

    IMMH surgical treatment is based on intra and extraoral approaches. Both techniques revolve around the removal of excessive muscle fibers from the inner third of the masseter vertical muscle fibers1,2. Reduction osteoplasty may be performed in cases of bony hyperplasia of the mandibular angle. The remaining external bundle of the masseter should be attached to the mandibular periosteum to allow for adequate functional recovery. (1/2). The choice between intra and extraoral approaches, in our opinion, is not related to cosmetic or functional outcomes or to the risk of introducing vascular and nerve injury, but to the skill and experience of the surgeon in performing surgery using either of the approaches. Although Da Cruz et al. (1994) believe the intraoral approach offers lower risk of lesion and better cosmetic results, a surgeon with good experience in jaw procedures has no difficulties in isolating the mandibular nerve. The cosmetic outcome of submandibular incisions (e.g.: Risdon) is well accepted by the patients.

    CONCLUSION

    IMMH is a disease of obscure etiology that may involve anyone. Although the diagnosis is eminently clinical, complementary exams may aid in the differential diagnosis against other conditions. The chosen surgical treatment will rely heavily on surgeon experience and skill.

    REFERENCES

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      Whitaker LA. Prominent mandibular angle: preoperative management, operative technique and results in 42 patients (Discussion). Plast Reconst Surg 1989;83:279.
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      Seltzer SE, Wang AM. Modern imaging of the masseter muscle: normal anatomy and pathosis on Ct and MRI. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol 1987;63(5):622-9.
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      Maxwell JH, Weggoner RN. Hypertrophy of the masseter muscles. Ann Otol 1951;60:538-41.
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      Gurney CE. Chronic bilateral benign hypertrophy of the masseter. Ann J Surg 1947;73:137-9.
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      Martensson G. Hypertrophy of the masseter muscle. Acta Otolaryngol 1989;50:526-30.
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      Baek SM, Kin SS, Bindiger A. The proeminent mandibular prospective, management, operative technique and results in patients. Plast Reconst Surg 1989;83:272.
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    Benign masseter muscle hypertrophy Daniel Zeni RispoliI; Paulo M. CamargoII; José L. Pires JrIII; Vinicius R. FonsecaIV; Karina K. MandelliV; Marcela A.C. PereiraVI

    Publication Dates

    • Publication in this collection
      05 Dec 2008
    • Date of issue
      Oct 2008

    History

    • Received
      06 Sept 2005
    • Accepted
      16 Sept 2005
    ABORL-CCF Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial Av. Indianápolis, 740, 04062-001 São Paulo SP - Brazil, Tel./Fax: (55 11) 5052-9515 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
    E-mail: revista@aborlccf.org.br