Multimodal Evaluation of Long-Term Salivary Gland Alterations in Sarcoidosis

Benedikt Hofauer, Miriam Wiesner, Konrad Stock, Friedhelm Peltz, Felix Johnson, Zhaojun Zhu, Adam Chaker, Andreas Knopf

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Background: Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by non-caseating granulomas. In addition to the lungs as classical site of affection, extrapulmonary manifestations are common, for example in the cervical lymph nodes or the salivary glands. The aim of this investigation is the analysis of the long-term course of glandular symptoms and the sonographic evaluation of long-term salivary gland changes. Material and methods: All patients with a diagnosis of sarcoidosis over a period of 20 years in the departments of otorhinolaryngology, rheumatology, and pneumology were identified. In addition to clinical examinations and functional evaluation of the salivary glands, a sonographic examination of the salivary glands was carried out. The changes in the area of the salivary glands were assessed using B-mode sonography and different elastographic methods with appropriate scoring systems. Results: A total of 76 patients were included in the study (age 35.1 ± 21.6 years). Overall, 17 patients presented with salivary gland manifestation at the time of the initial diagnosis. Of these patients, 15 received steroid therapy, 6 were also treated with another drug, and 2 patients were not treated with drugs. The time span between initial diagnosis and follow-up was 88.2 months (±83.0). At the time of the initial diagnosis, 17/17 complained of swelling of the salivary glands, 9/17 of xerostomia, and 8/17 of pain in the area of the salivary glands. At the time of follow-up, 5/17 reported swelling of the salivary glands, 6/17 reported xerostomia, and 1/17 reported pain in the salivary gland area. Sonography showed sonomorphological abnormalities of the salivary glands only in individual cases, with only mild alterations on average. Conclusion: In summary, it can be observed that patients with initial symptoms in the area of the salivary glands, such as swelling or pain, also suffer more frequently from dry mouth and eyes. In all patients, however, these symptoms regressed over time. A previous diagnosis of sarcoidosis with involvement of the salivary glands only leads to permanent abnormalities in the area of the salivary glands in individual cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2292
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • elastography
  • head and neck
  • parotid gland
  • salivary glands
  • sarcoidosis
  • sonography
  • submandibular gland


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