Sonoelastographic Modalities in the Evaluation of Salivary Gland Characteristics in Sjögren's Syndrome.
The purpose of this study was to investigate salivary tissue assessment with various sonoelastographic modalities (real-time tissue elastography, Virtual Touch imaging and quantification) in patients with Sjögren's syndrome as compared with an appropriate control group. The sonoelastographic modalities were evaluated in 50 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS). Patients underwent high-resolution ultrasonography of the submandibular and parotid glands. Results of B-mode, real-time tissue elastography, Virtual Touch imaging-each graded with the appropriate scoring system-and Virtual Touch quantification were compared with those for 50 patients with sicca symptoms who did not fulfill the American-European consensus group criteria. In B-mode, 34 of 50 parotid glands in patients with pSS and 8 of 50 in the control group had abnormal findings (p < 0.001). Compared with 9 of 50 control patients, 38 of 50 patients with pSS had abnormal findings in submandibular gland B-mode (p < 0.001). With real-time tissue elastography, there was a trend toward higher scores for parotid glands in the pSS group (p = 0.238), whereas scores for submandibular glands in the control group were higher (p = 0.107). Virtual Touch imaging did not indicate any difference (p = 0.647 and p = 0.658). In Virtual Touch quantification, values for parotid (mean: 2.99 m/s) and submandibular glands (mean: 2.54 m/s) in the pSS group were higher than those for parotid (mean: 2.16 m/s) and submandibular (mean: 2.04 m/s) glands in the control group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.008). Glandular stiffness, measured by Virtual Touch quantification, was significantly higher in patients with Sjögre?s syndrome than in patients with sicca symptoms.