Navigate Up

Women's Center - A-Z Index

#
Y

Print This Page

Sialogram

A sialogram is an x-ray of the salivary ducts and glands.

The salivary glands are located on each side of the face.  They release saliva into the mouth.

Alternative Names

Ptyalography; Sialography

How the test is performed

The test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office. It is done by an x-ray technician. You may be given a medicine to make you calm before the procedure.

You will be asked to lie on your back on the x-ray table. An x-ray is taken before the contrast material is injected to check for blockages that might prevent the contrast material from entering the ducts.

A catheter (a small flexible tube) is inserted through your mouth and into the duct of the salivary gland. A special dye (contrast medium) in then injected into the duct. This allows the duct will show up on the x-ray. X-rays will be taken from many positions.

You may be given lemon juice to help you produce saliva. The x-rays are then repeated to examine the drainage of the saliva into the mouth.

How to prepare for the test

Tell the health care provider if you are:

You must sign a consent form. You will need to rinse your mouth with germ-killing (antiseptic) solution before the procedure.

How the test will feel

You may feel some discomfort or pressure when the contrast material is injected into the ducts. The contrast material may taste unpleasant.

Why the test is performed

A sialogram may be done when your doctor thinks you might have a disorder of the salivary ducts or glands.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal results may suggest:

What the risks are

There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women  should not under go this test. Alternatives include tests like a MRI kilogram that do not involve x-rays. .

References

Lacey J. Diagnostic Imaging and Fine Needle-Aspiration of the Salivary Glands. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 85.

Updated: 3/22/2013

Ashutosh Kacker, MD, BS, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Associate Attending Otolaryngologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com