Ultrasound-guided sialo-irrigation with a saline–air mixture as the contrast medium


Ultrasound (US)-guided salivary gland irrigation is a popular conservative treatment method that improves the success rate and reduces complications of the sialo-irrigation procedure. US is routinely used for evaluation of various salivary gland diseases because of its easy accessibility and absence of ionizing radiation. US also allows dynamic studies with real-time imaging during diagnostic or surgical procedures. However, conventional US images have limitations in salivary duct visualization. Although US images acquired with saline irrigation have improved visualization because of ductal system dilation by the pulling effect, the resultant image quality remains insufficient for diagnosis. Therefore, contrast agents are required during US-guided sialo-irrigation procedures to produce diagnostic image quality. Air bubbles in saline solution have high echogenicity and enhance image quality by acting as a US contrast agent. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical significance of US-guided sialo-irrigation with a saline–air contrast medium, to estimate its diagnostic and treatment efficacy, and to examine the procedure in two patients. In the study, two patients underwent US-guided salivary gland irrigation with air-bubble mixed saline solution. During the procedure, we were able to visualize the salivary gland duct and subsequently irrigate and clean the inside of the duct. As a result, the patients’ symptoms were relieved and saline solution mixed with air bubbles was confirmed to be an effective contrast agent.

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Correspondence to Yong-Suk Choi.

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Conflict of interest

Song Hee Oh, Ju Hee Kang, Yoon Joo Choi, Bok-Yeol Kim, Sae Rom Lee, Se Hyung Lee, Yong-Suk Choi, and Eui-Hwan Hwang declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human rights statement and informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Animal rights statement

This article does not contain any studies with animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Oh, S.H., Kang, J.H., Choi, Y.J. et al. Ultrasound-guided sialo-irrigation with a saline–air mixture as the contrast medium. Oral Radiol 35, 84–89 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11282-018-0331-2

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  • Sialo-irrigation
  • Ultrasound
  • Contrast medium
  • Ultrasound-guided
  • Sonohysterography