Aims: The aim of this study is to investigate the diagnostic value of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) imaging in the assessment of salivary gland involvement in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS).
Material and methods: Twenty five patients with pSS and 25 healthy volunteers were included. First, echostructures and the thickness of the submandibular and parotid glands were evaluated by B-mode ultrasonography. Then, ARFI imaging with Virtual Touch Quantification® was performed. Ten independent shear wave velocity measurements were taken from each gland. Finally, the mean shear wavevelocity (SWV) values were calculated, and used for further analysis.
Results: The mean SWV values of parotid and submandibular glands were significantly higher in the pSS patients than in the healthy control group (p<0.001). The cut-off of SWV values were calculated to be 1.98 m/s for submandibular glands, and 1.93 m/s for parotid glands. In pSS patients, the mean SWV values of parotid glands were higher than those of the submandibular glands (p<0.001) and no statistically significant relationships between symptom duration or the degree of xerostomia and mean SWV values of parotid and submandibularglands were found (all p>0.005).
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that ARFI imaging may provide a non-invasive, simple and fast means of assessment of glandular impairment as an alternative test when other salivary gland tests are inconclusive or cannot be performed. ARFI may be a valuable adjunct for the clinical diagnosis of pSS.