Evaluation of the anterior processes of the parotid gland: an ultrasonographic study

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Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00276-024-03369-y
  • Journal Name: Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Accessory parotid gland, Facial process, Prevalence, Ultrasonography
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of anterior extensions of the parotid gland (AEPG), namely the accessory parotid gland (APG) and the facial process of the parotid gland (FP), using ultrasonography. Study design: A total of 338 parotid glands were scanned bilaterally. APG was defined as a soft tissue mass with the same echogenic features as the main parotid gland (MPG) and not in contact with it, while FP was defined as an extension that exceeded the anterior border of the mandibular ramus and was continuous with the MPG. The anteroposterior, mediolateral, superoinferior dimensions and the mean distance from the MPG to the APG were measured. Results: The prevalence of APG and FP were 19.5% and 36%, respectively, resulting in an AEPG prevalence of 55.6%. The presence of APG was statistically higher in females than in males (p = 0.039). The mean anteroposterior, mediolateral, and superoinferior dimensions of the APG were 18.1 ± 0.57 mm, 0.35 ± 0.17 mm, and 12.3 ± 0.36 mm, respectively, and the mean distance from the MPG was measured as 12.1 ± 0.87 mm. Conclusion: This study can raise awareness among clinicians about the presence of AEPG in the differential diagnosis of mid-cheek masses.