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Ultrasound abnormalities of the major salivary glands in Egyptian patients with systemic sclerosis

Clin Rheumatol. 2023 Sep 18. doi: 10.1007/s10067-023-06763-w. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disorder with multiple organs destruction. This study aimed to identify the ultrasonographic changes of major salivary glands in Egyptian scleroderma patients and to detect their association to different disease manifestations.

METHODS: Forty-seven SSc patients and 43 apparent healthy volunteers were enrolled. Demographics, inflammatory markers, and autoimmune status were recorded. Ultrasound evaluation of salivary glands was performed. Salivary gland changes’ associations were statistically examined with SSc susceptibility and disease manifestations.

RESULTS: Thirty-one SSc patients exhibited glandular pathology (p < 0.0001), compared to controls. Of these abnormalities, SSc patients showed a total parotid gray scale of 2, total submandibular gray scale of 2, total glandular gray scale of 4, and total glandular Doppler signal of 1 at p < 0.0001, compared to the control group. Patients with SSc and glandular pathology had a higher prevalence of arthritis (p = 0.029) and ESR (p = 0.002) than those with normal glandular ultrasound. Significant associations were reported between gray scale ultrasound (GSUS) of total parotid (odds ratio “OR” = 0.4), total submandibular (OR = 0.36), and total glandular (OR = 0.53) with susceptibility to SSc at p < 0.0001. Total glandular GSUS (p = 0.039) and total submandibular power Doppler (p = 0.044) correlated with the SSc duration. Total parotid GSUS (p = 0.008) and total glandular GSUS (p < 0.0001) correlated with Schirmer’s test.

CONCLUSIONS: Major salivary glands are affected in SSc. Hence, scanning these glands with ultrasound is an additive tool besides the current practice. Key Points • Major salivary gland changes, observed by ultrasonography, are new findings in Egyptian SSc patients. • Ultrasound changes of major salivary glands are associated with inflammatory markers and clinical manifestations of SSc. • Scleroderma ultrasonography scans of the main salivary glands could be added to the routine work.

PMID:37721645 | DOI:10.1007/s10067-023-06763-w

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