Diagnostic performance of MR imaging of three major salivary glands for Sjögren's syndrome

I Kojima, M Sakamoto, M Iikubo, H Kumamoto, A Muroi, Y Sugawara, S Satoh-Kuriwada, T Sasano
Oral Diseases 2017, 23 (1): 84-90

OBJECTIVE: We analyzed the diagnostic performance of the MR imaging findings of the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands to discriminate between patients with and without Sjögren's syndrome.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the correlation between the MR imaging and histopathological findings obtained from 69 patients with clinically suspected Sjögren's syndrome. We evaluated the heterogeneous signal intensity distribution on T1- and T2-weighted images, the multiple high-signal-intensity spots on MR sialograms, and the volume of the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual salivary glands.

RESULTS: The multiple high-signal-intensity spots in the parotid gland showed the highest sensitivity and diagnostic accuracy (82% and 83%, respectively). In addition, the multiple high-signal-intensity spots and the heterogeneous signal intensity distribution in the submandibular gland showed high specificity (100% and 88%, respectively). The volume of the submandibular gland, but not that of the parotid or sublingual gland, was smaller in patients with Sjögren's syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of multiple high-signal-intensity spots on an MR sialogram in the parotid gland should be considered the best diagnostic indicator for Sjögren's syndrome. The presence of spots, heterogeneity, and the change to smaller volumes in the submandibular gland were also helpful because of their high specificity, particularly in advanced cases.

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