MRI and MR sialography of juvenile recurrent parotitis

Pediatr Radiol. 2010 Aug;40(8):1405-10. doi: 10.1007/s00247-010-1639-1. Epub 2010 May 14.


Background: Juvenile recurrent parotitis (JRP) is the second most common inflammatory salivary gland disease of childhood, after mumps. Diagnosis of JRP is usually based on clinical history of recurrent unilateral or bilateral parotid swelling and demonstration of sialectasis. Conventional sialography, digital sialography, US, MRI and sialoendoscopy have been used as investigative tools for the diagnosis of JRP. MR sialography is increasingly recognized as a useful supplement to sialography in salivary duct disorders.

Objective: To describe the MRI and MR sialographic findings in children with JRP.

Materials and methods: MR Sialography was performed using T2-weighted three-dimensional constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) and half fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) sequences in 62 children with inflammatory salivary gland disease. Out of these 62 children, 6 had JRP. Axial T1- and T2-W images were also performed.

Results: The main parotid duct was normal in all six children with JRP. High signal intensity focal lesions suggestive of sialectasis were seen involving both parotid glands in all six children. CISS sequence demonstrated the intraglandular ducts and sialectasis better than HASTE images.

Conclusion: MRI and MR sialography can non-invasively delineate the parenchymal and ductal system abnormalities of the parotid glands in children with JRP. Although MR and MR sialography cannot substitute US, they can accurately depict findings such as sialectasis and signal intensity changes in the parotid gland depending upon the phase of the disease (acute vs. chronic inflammation). The radiologist should be familiar with MR findings of JRP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Parotitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sialography / methods*