Comparison of Clinical Characteristics and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Salivary Glands With Magnetic Resonance Sialography in Sjögren's Syndrome

Laryngoscope. 2021 Jan;131(1):E83-E89. doi: 10.1002/lary.28742. Epub 2020 May 15.


Objectives/hypothesis: To compare the results of magnetic resonance imaging with magnetic resonance sialography (MRSIAL) and the clinical and laboratory characteristics in a well-characterized cohort of patients with primary or secondary Sjögren's syndrome (SS) meeting the American-European Consensus Group criteria.

Study design: Retrospective, observational, monocentric study.

Methods: Thirty-six patients (81% female, mean age = 48 ± 35 years) with primary or secondary SS who underwent MRSIAL were included in the study.

Results: MRSIAL revealed characteristic radiological signs in the parotid, sublingual, and submandibular salivary glands in 35/36 patients (97%). Patients presenting with anti-Sjögren's syndrome-related antigen A (SSA) autoantibodies showed more often fatty infiltration, a "pepper-and-salt" appearance, ductal stenosis, and/or ductal dilation of the parotid gland (88%, 88%, and 72% respectively) than patients negative for anti-SSA (12%, 4%, and 28% respectively). MRSIAL demonstrated signs characteristic of SS in all 11 patients with negative minor salivary gland biopsy. For 15 patients undergoing ultrasound examination only, 11 (73%) had SS findings, but all 15 had SS findings on MRSIAL. Two cases of parotid lymphoma were detected by MRSIAL (6%).

Conclusions: MRSIAL is a reliable technique to detect glandular anomalies in patients with SS, and seems to provide a valuable aid in the diagnosis of SS.

Level of evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 131:E83-E89, 2021.

Keywords: Sjögren's syndrome; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance sialography; sicca syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / etiology
  • Salivary Glands / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sialography / methods*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Young Adult