To review the most important anatomical and histological features of the normal parotid gland. To describe the imaging findings of common causes of parotid enlargement in different radiologic modalities,
highlighting the major keys to a correct diagnosis.
The parotid gland is the largest salivary gland in the body.
It lies in the parotid space,
which is located posteriorly to the masticator space and laterally to parapharyngeal and carotid spaces.
It is composed of fat and glandular components,
both in the same amount. Parotid can be divided into two lobes by a surgical cleavage plane composed by the facial nerve: a bigger superficial lobe,
and a smaller deeper lobe.
Since the facial nerve is hard to depict on imaging,
the gland may be divided...
Findings and procedure details
PAROTID GLAND IMAGING Imaging exams are an important tool in the evaluation of parotid enlargement. -Conventional radiography Radiography may be helpful in the detection of calculi,
but only 20% of the calculi are radiopaque.
This imaging technique can also show calcification and bone invasion but has been replaced by other radiologic modalities. -Ultrasound (US) US is an important tool in the evaluation of the major salivary glands.
It does not use ionizing radiation and also enables...
Imaging is important in the evaluation of the many causes of parotid gland enlargement,
as clinical manifestations are occasionally non-specific. Radiologists must be familiarized with the disorders that may affect the parotid gland to make a correct diagnosis.
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