Is sonoelastography a helpful method of evaluation to diagnose Sjögren's syndrome?

Int J Rheum Dis. 2019 Feb;22(2):175-181. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13373. Epub 2018 Sep 5.


Objective: A new sonoelastography technique - virtual touch tissue quantification of acoustic radiation force impulses (ARFI) - offers a promising method for measuring tissue rigidity. The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of ARFI for diagnosing Sjögren's syndrome (SS).

Methods: This transversal prospective study included 41 patients with SS according to American-European Consensus Group (AECG) criteria, and a control group without symptoms. All subjects underwent ARFI high-resolution ultrasound assessment of the parotid glands (PG) and submandibular glands (SMG).

Results: In patients with SS, parotid gland shear wave velocity (SWV) was 2.08 m/s ± 0.55, significantly higher than in control subjects (1.2 m/s ± 0.17) (P = 0.0001); submandibular gland SWV was higher in SS patients (2.12 m/s ± 0.44) than control subjects (1.56 m/s ± 0.16) (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Acoustic radiation force impulses sonoelastography can assist diagnosis of SS, and is a non-invasive and fast method of detecting pathological changes to the parotid and submandibular glands.

Keywords: Sjögren's syndrome; acoustic radiation force impulse; salivary glands; sensitivity; specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parotid Gland / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Submandibular Gland / diagnostic imaging*