Intraductal tetracycline therapy for the treatment of chronic recurrent parotitis

Ear Nose Throat J. 1994 Apr;73(4):262-74.


Chronic recurrent parotitis (CRP) is recurrent parotid inflammation with non-obstructive sialectasis. Therapies which produce acinar atrophy or remove the acini are effective in treating CRP. Parotidectomy, tympanic neurectomy, duct ligation, and radiation therapy have either a low success rate or a high risk of morbidity. Intraductal antibiotic instillation has been proposed as a possible method of treatment. We hypothesized that the cytotoxic effects of tetracycline could produce acinar atrophy. A double-blind experiment of intraductal tetracycline instillation was performed in ten rabbits. Acinar atrophy and acute inflammation were found in 40% of the tetracycline treated glands; controls had a complete absence of these histologic changes. These results support the use of tetracycline instillation to produce acinar atrophy and therefore, intraductal tetracycline may be an effective, low-risk therapy for CRP. The clinical features of CRP will be reviewed and therapeutic implications discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parotitis / diagnosis
  • Parotitis / drug therapy*
  • Parotitis / radiotherapy
  • Photomicrography
  • Rabbits
  • Recurrence
  • Salivary Glands / radiation effects
  • Salivary Glands / ultrastructure
  • Sialography
  • Tetracycline / administration & dosage
  • Tetracycline / therapeutic use*


  • Tetracycline