Study of quantitative oral radioactivity in salivary gland scintigraphy and determination of the clinical stage of Sjögren's syndrome

W Aung, Y Murata, R Ishida, Y Takahashi, N Okada, H Shibuya
Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2001, 42 (1): 38-43

UNLABELLED: In this study, the oral radioactivity seen in salivary gland scintigraphy, which was established entirely on the basis of radioactive saliva secreted by the parotid and submandibular glands, was evaluated quantitatively in healthy volunteers and in patients with Sjögren's syndrome.

METHODS: Salivary gland scintigraphy and labial biopsy were performed on 70 patients with Sjögren's syndrome. After intravenous administration of 99mTc-sodium pertechnetate, dynamic scintigraphy was performed and time-activity curves for the oral cavity and four major salivary glands were generated. Lemon juice stimulation was delivered at 40 min. The prestimulatory oral activity index, poststimulatory oral activity index, and time interval between the vascular perfusion peak and the prestimulated maximum oral activity point were calculated to quantify the oral activity. Other glandular functional parameters-namely, maximum accumulation (MA), maximum secretion, secretion velocity, time at maximum count, time interval from stimulation to minimum count, and uptake ratio (UR) of the parotid and submandibular glands-were also calculated. Salivary gland scintigraphy was also performed on 21 healthy subjects with no evidence of salivary gland malfunction.

RESULTS: Histopathologic grade 1 or 2 was found in 29 patients and grade 3 or 4 was found in 41 patients, and they were regarded as being in the early and advanced stages of Sjögren's syndrome, respectively. After overall analysis, all of the oral activity indices and the MA and UR of the submandibular gland clearly decreased as clinical severity progressed, and statistically significant differences were observed.

CONCLUSION: New oral activity indices correlated with the stage of Sjögren's syndrome, and these quantitative oral indices together with certain glandular parameters (mainly MA and UR of the submandibular gland) were found to be sensitive enough to distinguish the disease severity of Sjögren's syndrome.

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