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MRI Sialography

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Overview

Sialography is the process of imaging of the salivary glands. Sialography is performed to diagnose salivary duct obstruction, suspected sialadenitis or to identify ductal strictures. MRI is one of the three methods that are used to perform sialography, the other two being conventional fluoroscopy and CT scan.

What is MRI sialography?

MRI sialography is a test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the salivary glands. A strong magnetic field is applied to orient the protons in the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in a specific direction. These protons emit radio signals when they return to their ground state. Sometimes, a contrast material is used to enhance the quality of images obtained through MRI sialography.

How is MRI sialography performed?

A standard MRI test of sialography material consists of the following steps:

  • Individual to be tested is positioned on the moveable examination table
  • Radio wave emitter and receiver may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied
  • An intravenous catheter is inserted if a contrast material is to be used
  • The individual is placed into the magnet of the MRI unit and test is carried out.

Side effects/risks of MRI sialography

Here are some risks associated with MRI Sialography:

  • There is a slight risk of allergy if a contrast material is used
  • Implanted medical device may malfunction during the test if they have any metal content
  • Quality of images may not be as good as expected if the individual to be tested finds it difficult to lie perfectly still when the test is carried out.

Preparation before performing MRI sialography

Here are the things the patient needs to do before MRI Sialography

  • A loose fitting clothing with no metal fasteners shall be worn.
  • Instructions laid out by technician regarding diet before test shall be followed.
  • Report on all the medications and allergies should be provided to the radiologist beforehand.
  • Technician shall be informed about the medical implantations in the body of individual to be tested beforehand.

Post-care after MRI sialography

  • Individuals who require sedation to stay still during the test shall be allowed some time to recover.
  • Individuals with allergic reaction to contrast material shall seek medical attention.

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