What is the role of salivary stimulation therapy in the treatment of submandibular sialadenitis/sialadenosis, and can intraductal irrigation relieve symptoms of sialadenitis?

Updated: May 12, 2020
  • Author: Adi Yoskovitch, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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A prospective study by Choi et al indicated that following salivary stimulation therapy, patients with radioactive iodine (RAI)-induced sialadenitis may undergo a subjective reduction in symptoms but will not experience significant improvement in salivary gland function. The study involved 61 patients who were diagnosed with chronic RAI-induced sialadenitis following thyroidectomy and RAI treatment. After salivary stimulation with pilocarpine, significant improvement was seen in the patients’ subjective symptom scores; however, salivary flow rates and salivary gland scintigraphy parameters, as measured in the parotid and submandibular glands, were not significantly different from their prestimulation values. [11]

A study by Kim et al of 33 patients (58 salivary glands) with chronic obstructive sialadenitis indicated that intraductal irrigation can relieve symptoms of the condition. As assessed using a numeric rating scale, a set of 3-5 visits for intraductal irrigation reduced the average symptom severity score from 6.0 to 3.3. However, irrigation was not associated with a change in ductal width. [12]

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