JOURNAL ARTICLE

Virtual endoscopic view of salivary gland ducts using MR sialography data from three dimension fast asymmetric spin-echo (3D-FASE) sequences: a preliminary study

Y Morimoto, T Tanaka, I Yoshioka, S Masumi, M Yamashita, T Ohba
Oral Diseases 2002, 8 (5): 268-74
12363112

OBJECTIVES: We performed magnetic resonance (MR) sialography of parotid gland and/or submandibular gland ducts using three-dimensional fast asymmetric spin-echo (3D-FASE) sequencing. The objective was to make three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction images and virtual endoscopic views of the parotid gland ducts using MR sialography data sets of 3D-FASE sequences.

METHODS: We reviewed the MR sialography data sets with 3D-FASE sequencing of 10 control volunteers and six patients. Three-dimensional reconstruction images and virtual endoscopic views of the parotid gland and/or submandibular gland ducts were generated with maximum intensity projection (MIP), shaded surface display (SSD), and volume rendering techniques (VRT).

RESULTS: The main parotid gland and/or submandibular gland ducts, large branches within the glands, and small branches were fairly well defined in a very short acquisition time on MR sialographic images with 3D-FASE sequencing in nine of the 10 healthy volunteers. The 3D-reconstruction images of the parotid gland ducts and/or submandibular gland ducts showed the entire length of the branch paths and complete images from all angles, and the virtual endoscopic views showed the endoluminal tracts of the main ducts and the large branches in nine. In the patient with Sjogren's syndrome, chronic sialoadenitis, and salivary calculi in the Wharton ducts, the MR sialographic images showed diffuse areas of punctate high signal intensity, dilatation of Stensen's duct, or stones of Wharton's duct, respectively. Furthermore, the 3D-reconstruction images of the salivary gland ducts showed the stenoses and stones in the branch paths and complete images from all angles, and the virtual endoscopic views showed the stenoses and stones in the endoluminal tracts of the main and large branches.

CONCLUSIONS: Our initial experience showed that virtual MR endoscopy could be performed to observe the endoluminal tracts of parotid and submandibular glands. The clinical use of the virtual MR endoscopy for salivary gland ducts has not been established yet. Future applications of the 3D-reconstruction images and virtual endoscopic views using MR sialography data sets of 3D-FASE sequences are very attractive and further expansion of this field is expected.

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