Standardization of terminology, imaging features, and interpretation of CBCT sialography of major salivary glands: a clinical review

Ragda Abdalla-Aslan, Naama Keshet, Yehuda Zadik, Doron J. Aframian, Chen Nadler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Sialography combined with cone beam computerized tomogra phy (sialo-CBCT) is an imaging technique that demonstrates the ductal system of the major salivary glands and allows evaluation of gland function. This review describes the sialo-CBCT tech nique, terminology, common pitfalls and limitations, as well as radiographic features and suggested pathogenicity of various salivary gland disorders, based on 1,758 sialo-CBCT examina tions conducted over the last decade in one institution, and the current literature. The adoption of standardized terminology is proposed to prevent miscommunication, facilitate formulation of differential diagnoses, and thereby promote patient manage ment: (1) Sialo-CBCT requires specific training, and operator ex perience is required for adequate glandular filling with minimal extravasation; (2) Limit injection-to-scan time to avoid premature emptying; (3) The sialo-CBCT report should include a description of the morphology of the primary duct as well as the secondary, tertiary, and descending branches, the maximal branching level, the presence of sialectasis, overall glandular size, and parenchy mal findings; (4) Functional evaluation is based on assessment of iodine clearance in the post evacuation image; (5) Sialectasis and ductopenia are the main findings in Sjogren syndrome and re current juvenile parotitis; (6) Sialodochitis with or without fillings defects or hyperdense calcifications characterize obstructive si aladenitis and sialolithiasis; (7) The findings following radioac tive-iodine-induced damage are similar to obstructive sialadeni tis, with atrophy in late stages; (8) In chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), variable presentations of ductopenia, sialecta sis, and sialodochitis may be evident; (9) The red flags indicating a space-occupying lesion include areas of no filling, splaying of ducts, and primary duct deviation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)728-740
Number of pages13
JournalQuintessence International
Issue number8
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Quintessence Publishing Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Cone beam computed tomography
  • Parotitis
  • Salivary glands
  • Sialadenitis
  • Sialography
  • Sjogren syndrome


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