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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Jan;42(1):124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2012.10.006. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

The role of salivary duct morphology in the aetiology of sialadenitis: statistical analysis of sialographic features.

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Department of Radiology, Section of Neuroradiology and Head & Neck Imaging, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Morphologic characteristics of salivary ducts may contribute to stagnation of saliva. The authors hypothesized that some features might contribute to development of submandibular and parotid sialadenitis. 106 digital subtraction sialograms (DSS) were retrospectively reviewed for: degree of sialadenitis, length of Wharton's and Stensen's ducts (SD), and angle of Wharton's duct (WD) genu. Student's t test was used for independent samples to statistically compare normal and sialadenitis groups. The effect of independent variables (age, gender, side, degree of sialadenitis) on the dependent variable (length or angle) were tested using regression analysis. Submandibular duct sialadenitis was mild (67%), moderate (8%), or severe (25%); parotid duct sialadenitis was mild (57%), moderate (18%), or severe (25%). Mean length of normal WD was 58.2 mm, and 56.3 mm with sialadenitis. Mean length of normal SD was 52 mm, and 53 mm with sialadenitis. The mean angle of WD genu was 115° in normal ducts, and 119° with sialadenitis. None of the independent variables affected variation in length or angle. There were no statistical differences in duct length or measured angle between normal and sialadenitis groups. There is a wide variation in salivary duct morphology but this does not appear to be associated with the cause of sialadenitis.

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