Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) sialography—an adjunct to salivary gland ultrasonography in the evaluation of recurrent salivary gland swelling

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Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) sialography could help improve the visualization of the ductal system of salivary glands. The aim of this retrospective investigation was to monitor the use of CBCT sialography for the diagnosis of pathologies within the intraglandular ductal system when ultrasonography was inconclusive.

Study Design.

Fourteen consecutive patients suffering from recurrent swelling of a major salivary gland were evaluated. In 12 patients (8 female; 4 male; average age 46 years), a radiopaque contrast agent could be injected into the ductal system, followed by a routine CBCT. Four blinded examiners evaluated the acquired data sets retrospectively.


CBCT revealed seven stenosis, two salivary stones, one complete duct atresia, one intraglandular duct ectasia, and one regular duct system. Three of the detected pathologies were strictly intraglandular.


CBCT sialography shows promise as a supplementary noninvasive diagnostic tool for the visualization of the intraglandular ductal system of the major human salivary glands. Controlled studies to further validate this method should be undertaken.

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