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Zengel, Pamela; Reichel, Christoph Andreas; Vincek, Teresa; Clevert, Dirk-André (2017): Ultrasound elastography in diagnosis and follow-up for patients with chronic recurrent parotitis. In: Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, Vol. 67, No. 43193: pp. 389-397
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PURPOSE: Chronic recurrent parotitis (CRP) is a non-obstructive disease with episodes characterized by painful swelling of the parotid gland. It presents in both a juvenile and an adult form, with no clear information on its actual origin. Diagnosis is based on patient medical history and ultrasound examination but is frequently not correctly identified. Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging (ARFI) is a novel ultrasound elastography technology that has recently been implemented in the diagnostic work-up of patients with malignancies. This study aimed to answer whether ARFI can reasonably be employed in the initial examination and follow-up during therapy in patients with CRP. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Mechanical tissue properties of the salivary glands were analyzed by ARFI in 37 parotid glands of patients with CRP. RESULTS: Having integrated ARFI into our diagnostic protocol for CRP, affected parotid glands were found to exhibit lower tissue elasticity compared to both healthy contralateral glands in the same individuals as well as those of healthy individuals. Most importantly, this method enabled us to quantitatively assess the patient benefit of therapy regarding the recovery of the glands' diseased parenchyma. CONCLUSIONS: ARFI provides a quick, easy, and reliable diagnostic tool for the assessment of disease severity and progression in patients with CRP that can be seamlessly implemented into preexisting ultrasound protocols.