Reconfirmed!! New research reinforces the correlation between radiation dose to the masseter and pterygoid muscles with the development of trismus.
The study “Radiation dose to the masseter and medial pterygoid muscle in relation to trismus after chemoradiotherapy for advanced head and neck cancer” stresses the impact of radiation dose on the ipsilateral masseter muscle and the ipsilateral medial pterygoid muscle in head and neck cancer patients. A meaningful analysis of data was conducted across 83 patients treated for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. These patients participated in a preventive exercise program for mouth opening and MIO measurements were compared. The study concluded that radiation dose on the ipsilateral masseter muscle and ipsilateral medial pterygoid muscle is predictive for trismus.
Trismus continues to be one of the most vexing side effects of radiation therapy not only because of its negative implications but because of its progressive nature with potentially escalating complications. It has significant negative implications for a patient’s quality of life affecting communication, eating, dental hygiene and in severe instances the ability for intubation. This study demonstrates the importance of avoiding radiation to the masseter and pterygoid muscles when possible for positive future outcomes for patients.
Have trismus? Receiving treatment for Oral or Nasal Cancer?
Craniorehab offers jaw motion rehab devices including the OraStretch press that provide stretching and passive motion of the jaw. Visit our Trismus information page to learn more about the definition, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of trismus.
To read the full study click this link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hed.25573
Kraaijenga, SA, Hamming-Vrieze, O, Verheijen, S, et al. Radiation dose to the masseter and medial pterygoid muscle in relation to trismus after chemoradiotherapy for advanced head and neck cancer. Head & Neck. 2019; 41: 1387– 1394. https://doi.org/10.1002/hed.25573