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Free Content MR Sialography: A Pictorial Review

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MR sialography is a noninvasive method for evaluating the ductal structures of the major salivary glands. While the technique and its applications have evolved greatly from its initial description in the mid-1990s, it remains rooted in the simple concept that stationary fluid, such as saliva, has intrinsic high T2 signal intensity, obviating instillation of contrast material to “opacify” the salivary ducts. MR sialography offers several advantages over conventional or digital sialography, including its noninvasive technique, lack of the need for contrast media, lack of ionizing radiation, independence from an experienced operator, its concomitant evaluation of the salivary glandular parenchyma, and acute sialadenitis not being a contraindication for imaging. In this review, we describe the current state of MR sialographic imaging, including basic, adjuvant, and advanced techniques; salient anatomy germane to both radiologists and salivary endoscopists; MR sialographic considerations before sialoendoscopy; a suggested search pattern modeled after the clinical considerations of referring salivary endoscopists; disease-specific applications of MR sialography; and imaging alternatives.

Learning Objective: To recognize the current state of MR sialography, including its advantages, limitations, current applications in medical imaging, pertinent findings for salivary endoscopists, future directions, and imaging alternatives.
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Keywords: CISS = constructive interference in the steady-state; EXPRESS = extended-phase conjugate-symmetry rapid spin-echo; FASE = fast asymmetric spin-echo; FS = fat-suppressed; JRP = juvenile recurrent parotitis; SPACE = sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts by using different flip angle evolutions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Neurographics is the peer-reviewed, bimonthly educational journal of the American Society of Neuroradiology. The journal comprises articles selected from material presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting. Neurographics also publishes other high-quality submissions that are primarily educational and have a high emphasis on a pictorial approach. Neurographics offers CME credit for reading review articles and completing quiz-based self-assessment activities.

    Visit to view all available CME courses.

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