Normal fetal salivary glands at 14-16 weeks of gestation as observed by transvaginal ultrasound imaging

M. Odeh, E. Ophir, L. Ardekian, J. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Absence or congenital anomalies of the parotid glands are associated with significant longterm morbidity. To date there are no published data on ultrasonographic detection of these defects in early pregnancy. We set out to demonstrate and measure the fetal parotid and submandibular salivary glands at 14-16 weeks using transvaginal ultrasound imaging. Methods During a routine fetal anomaly detection scan in 30 consecutive patients, an attempt was made to examine the fetal parotid and submandibular glands. The fetal head was scanned in transverse sections just below the fetal ears, and the area of the parotid and submandibular glands was inspected. The examination time was not prolonged for the purpose of measuring the salivary glands. The fetal biparietal diameter and the femur length were also documented. Results The median gestational age was 15.4 (range,14.4-16.5) weeks. In all 30 patients examined, at least one pair of parotid and submandibular glands was clearly visualized and measured. In seven patients the parotid and submandibular glands were visualized on both sides. The median length of the parotid gland was 7.5 (range, 5.5-11.5) mm and that of the submandibular gland was 5.4 (range, 3.7-8.5) mm. Conclusions The fetal salivary glands can be demonstrated by transvaginal ultrasound imaging at 14-16 weeks of gestation. This is the first reported study presenting the normal values of salivary gland measurements, which may be important in detecting fetuses with congenital absence or other malformations of the glands. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-397
Number of pages3
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Early fetal scan
  • Fetal salivary glands
  • Parotid gland
  • Submandibular gland
  • Transvaginal ultrasound

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