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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 157809, 6 pages
Research Article

Shear Wave Elastography: A New Noninvasive Tool to Assess the Intensity of Fibrosis of Irradiated Salivary Glands in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego Street, 60-355 Poznan, Poland
2Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Internal Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 49 Przybyszewskiego Street, 60-355 Poznan, Poland
3Great Poland Oncology Center, Department of Electroradiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 15 Garbary Street, 61-866 Poznan, Poland

Received 19 April 2014; Revised 29 June 2014; Accepted 14 July 2014; Published 17 August 2014

Academic Editor: Sotirios Bisdas

Copyright © 2014 Jarosław Kałużny et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the study was to assess salivary gland parenchyma by means of sonoelastography in patients irradiated for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The studied group consisted of 52 patients after radiotherapy (RT) and 54 healthy volunteers. All of the former were treated for advanced larynx (40), oropharynx (9), or maxilla (3) squamous cancers and suffered from chronic dryness. Ultrasonography (US) and elastography (ES) were performed, as well as an assessment of the amount of saliva and Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) scale. There was a statistical difference between ES values in the RT group and in the controls for parotid glands (41.7 kPa versus 26.03 kPa, ) and for submandibular glands (37.6 kPa versus 22.4 kPa; ). There was a significant correlation between the CTCAE scores and objective saliva amount (), and the median amount of saliva in the examined group was lower than in the reference group (1.86 g versus 2.75 g, ). In conclusion sonoelastography adds a new parameter to ultrasonography in “one touch examination” and may be a useful tool for major salivary gland evaluation during the radiotherapy course and follow-up period.