Salivary Gland Scan
How It Is Done continued...
During a salivary gland scan, you will sit with the camera placed at your neck. A small amount of the tracer is put in your vein (IV).
The camera will scan for radiation released by the tracer. The pictures are taken every few minutes during the scan. You need to stay very still during the scan so the pictures are not blurry.
You may be asked to suck on a lemon after the first pictures are taken. This causes your salivary glands to release more saliva. Then more pictures are taken.
A salivary gland scan takes about 1 hour.
How It Feels
You will not feel pain during the test. You may feel a quick sting or pinch when the IV is put in your arm. The tracer may make you feel warm and flushed.
You may find it hard to lie still during the scan.
There is a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.
Allergic reactions to the tracer are very rare.
In some cases, soreness or swelling may develop at the IV site. Apply a moist, warm compress to your arm to relieve these symptoms.
A salivary gland scan uses a special camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to take pictures of the salivary glands .
The results of a salivary gland scan are usually available within 2 days.
Salivary gland scan
The tracer moves evenly through the salivary glands and is released normally into the mouth.
The salivary ducts leading from the salivary glands are not blocked. Saliva is released in response to sucking on a lemon.
The tracer does not move evenly through the salivary glands. A pocket of fluid (cyst), a pocket of infection (abscess), or a tumor or other growth may be present.
The tracer may not flow normally from the salivary glands into the mouth. This may be caused by a tumor pressing on the duct, a stone in the duct, or inflammation of the duct.
The flow of tracer through the salivary glands is decreased. This may point to a condition, such as Sjögren's syndrome.
The amount of tracer in the salivary glands in front of the ear is greatly increased. This may indicate inflammation or infection of the parotid glands (parotitis).