In a prospective study, ultrasound examination of the salivary glands was performed in 31 consecutive patients referred for sialography. Good correlation between ultrasound and digital sialography was observed in 26 patients with only one false negative ultrasound in a patient with significant sialectasis. We recommend initial ultrasound examination in patients with symptoms suggesting an inflammatory lesion in the salivary glands. If this is normal or reveals a solid mass, sialography is not indicated. If ultrasound examination demonstrates the presence of calculi, duct dilatation, cystic elements or an enlarged gland, digital sialography should be performed to identify lesions in the main duct such as strictures or obstructing calculi.