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Reichel, Christoph A.; Vincek, Teresa; Gellrich, Donata; Schroetzlmair, Florian; Clevert, Dirk; Zengel, Pamela (2018): Ultrasound elastography in diagnosis and follow-up for patients with sialolithiasis. In: Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Vol. 47, No. 7, 20170424
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Objectives: This study aims to answer whether acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) can reasonably be employed in initial examination and follow-up during therapy in patients with sialolithiasis, one of the most common non-malignant disorders of the salivary glands. Methods: Mechanical tissue properties of affected and contralateral healthy salivary glands were analyzed by ARFI in 129 patients with sialolithiasis. In different subgroup analyses, ARFI shear wave velocity values were compared between healthy and diseased submandibular or parotid glands, salivary glands with calculi exhibiting different sizes, as well as before and after therapy. The patients' symptoms were evaluated by a standardized questionnaire. The t-test (2 groups) or the One-way ANOVA test (>2 groups) was used for the estimation of stochastic probability in intergroup comparisons. Results: Submandibular or parotid glands affected by sialolithiasis were found to exhibit significant lower ARFI values as compared to the healthy contralateral glands in the same individuals. ARFI values in submandibular glands with a single calculus of more than 5 mm in diameter or with multiple calculi as well as in parotid glands with calculi exhibiting diameters of more than 5mm were significantly higher as compared to the respective healthy contralateral glands. No significant differences in ARFI values of affected salivary glands were detected between patients with low or high symptom perception. Conclusions: ARFI provides an easy, quick and reliable diagnostic tool for the objective assessment of disease severity and progression in patients with sialolithiasis that can simply be implemented in pre-existing ultrasound protocols.