Point Shear Wave Elastography in Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Salivary Gland Affection after Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Benedikt Hofauer, Andreas Roth, Clemens Heiser, Johannes Schukraft, Felix Johnson, Zhaojun Zhu, Andreas Knopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Therapies of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), particularly irradiation and chemotherapy (C/RT), can affect salivary glands to some extent. Recent studies suggest that point shear wave elastography (pSWE) is well suited for the diagnosis and rating of homogenous damage to parenchymatous organs. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of this sonographic modality as a tool for the evaluation both of salivary gland affection after HNSCC therapy and the effect of a salivary replacement therapy based on liposomes. A total of 69 HNSCC patients were included in this study. All patients had finished cancer treatment and attended regular follow-up. pSWE values of ipsi- and contralateral parotid (PG) and submandibular glands (SMG) were obtained in a standardized manner and compared to those of a healthy control (HC) group. After a two months treatment with a liposomal saliva replacement therapy pSWE quantification was performed again. Ipsi- and contralateral salivary glands suffer under standard HNSCC tumor therapy. Here, the ipsilateral parotid gland (PG) is primarily affected. Therefore, a sequence of manifestation (surgery < surgery plus adjuvant C/RT < primary C/RT) is comprehensible, evaluated by pSWE measurements. The examination of all glands and statistical analysis of the values compared to controls resulted in an pSWE cutoff value for affected glandular tissue of >2 m/s. Using a liposomal saliva replacement therapy, pSWE values of the ipsilateral PG can be improved, although the level of HC could not be restored.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6285
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • point shear wave elastography
  • sicca
  • ultrasound


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