Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the feasibility of clinical application of magnetic resonance (MR) virtual endoscopy as a presurgical procedure before sialoendoscopy and to evaluate its value in the diagnosis of obstructive salivary gland diseases and preoperative visualization of endoluminal views.
Study Design: This study presents our initial experience to use MR virtual endoscopy for the presurgical visualization of salivary duct lumen and ductal pathologies in comparison to the sialoendoscopy findings in a feasibility study.
Methods: Six consecutive patients with suspected obstructive salivary gland diseases underwent MR sialography with a three-dimensional fast imaging using steady-state acquisition. The three-dimensional MR data were transferred to an independent workstation and were postprocessed with navigator software to generate three-dimensional reconstruction and virtual endoscopic images. The fly-through mode was used to imitate the sialoendoscopic exploratory procedure. Then the patients underwent sialoendoscopy and the endoscopic findings were compared with the preoperative virtual endoscopic images.
Results: The MR data acquisition and postprocessing protocol were feasible. The virtual endoscopy created clear endoluminal views of salivary duct and the ductal pathologies. The diagnoses were all confirmed by surgical sialoendoscopy. The virtual endoscopic images showed close resemblance to the sialoendoscopic findings.
Conclusions: MR virtual endoscopy is an effective and noninvasive diagnostic method for evaluating the endoluminal anatomy and pathologies of the salivary duct. The clinical application of MR virtual endoscopy as a presurgical procedure before sialoendoscopy is a valuable and promising approach, which can provide surgeons useful morphologic and pathologic information.