Ultrasound elastography in assessment of salivary glands involvement in primary Sjögren's syndrome


      • Sonoelastography increases accuracy of Sjögren's syndrome salivary gland involvement.
      • It increases effectiveness when added to B-mode US.
      • It gives measurement of strain ratio, which is a semi-quantitative value.



      Our study aimed to assess the pathological sonoelastographic changes in the major salivary glands and to demonstrate the diagnostic effectiveness of Sonoelastography as an additional method to US in Sjögren's syndrome.


      Fifty eight patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) were selected according to the American-European Consensus Group Classification criteria. Twenty five healthy volunteers involved in this study. All patients were evaluated with B-mode and elastography by using Hitachi EUB 7500 digital ultrasound equipment. All subjects were female. The sonoelastography examination, which allowed us to assess the elasticity of the parenchyma, was performed and strain ratios were measured by comparing with the adjacent tissues.


      Statistically significant differences were found between the pSS and control groups for the elastographic scores and strain ratios (p < 0.001). The highest sensitivity and specificity levels were obtained when the strain ratio cut-off value was taken as 1.55 for the submandibular gland and 2.45 for the parotid gland (sensitivity and specificity were 83% and 88% respectively for the submandibular gland and 83% and 92% respectively for the parotid gland). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the disease duration and the elasticity scores or strain ratios in pSS group (p > 0.05).


      US examination is an efficient method to assess major salivary gland involvement in the diagnosis of pSS. Sonoelastography is a modality which can contribute to the diagnosis by improving specificity in the differential diagnosis of pSS. Strain ratio measurement, which is a semi-quantitative method, increases the diagnostic effectiveness by providing high sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values.


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