MR imaging of the lacrimal gland. Age-related and gender-dependent changes in size and structure

Acta Radiol. 1996 Sep;37(5):714-9. doi: 10.1177/02841851960373P259.


Purpose: The subject of this study was to define age-related and gender-dependent changes in MR features of the lacrimal gland.

Material and methods: MR images were retrospectively analyzed in 104 normal subjects aged 2-79 years to measure thickness and area of the lacrimal gland, its MR signal intensity ratio, and SD of the MR signal intensity profile.

Results: Thickness and area of the lacrimal gland decreased with age in women (p < 0.001), but not in men. Furthermore, MR signal intensity ratio of the lacrimal gland showed an age-related increase in women (p < 0.001), but not in men. On the other hand, SD of the MR signal intensity increased with age in both women and men (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that gender has a significant influence on lacrimal gland structure during development and aging.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / anatomy & histology*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / growth & development
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Characteristics