Major salivary gland imaging

Radiology. 2000 Jul;216(1):19-29. doi: 10.1148/radiology.216.1.r00jl4519.


The algorithm for imaging the salivary glands depends on the clinical scenario with which the patient presents to the clinician. Because of the importance of identifying small calculi in the gland or salivary duct as the cause of the symptom complex, nonenhanced computed tomography is often the best initial study for the evaluation of the painful gland. If an infiltrative neoplasm is highly suspected, nonenhanced and enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging may be superior in demonstrating perineural, meningeal, and skull base invasion. Sialography is reserved for the evaluation of chronic sialadenitides unrelated to sialolithiasis. Thin-section MR techniques for MR sialography may soon replace conventional sialography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Salivary Glands / pathology*
  • Sialography*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*