We emphasise the importance of high-resolution CT with reconstruction in the demonstration of submandibular gland (SMG) sialolithiasis and its role in monitoring treatment. We studied 76 patients with swollen and tender SMG, some with fever. They underwent conventional radiography, sonography (US) and high-resolution CT with reconstructions. Conventional radiographs demonstrated single stones in 29 patients. Axial CT, before reconstructions, demonstrated single stones in 63 patients and multiple stones in another 5. Following CT reconstructions, multiple stones were demonstrated in 37 patients. On US stones were diagnosed in only 33 patients, and multiple stones in only 1. All 68 patients with stones shown on imaging and 2 without stones underwent surgery, with good clinical results. Total removal of the SMG and its duct was performed in patients with multiple stones, chronic inflammatory changes in the SMG, or a solitary stone in the SMG or deep in the duct. A small incision for removal of a solitary stone in the distal aspect of Wharton's duct was performed in 15 patients, with excellent clinical results. Another 14 patients with multiple salivary gland stones, diagnosed on CT reconstructions, did not improve following this procedure and needed further surgery; clinical improvement occurred following excision of the SMG and Wharton's duct. Histological examination in all of these confirmed the presence of additional stones. Conservative anti-inflammatory treatment was recommended for 6 patients in whom CT reconstructions did not demonstrate stones.
- Computed tomography
- Submandibular gland