Parotid sialography has been used for many years as a means of assessing salivary glands in Sjögren's syndrome (SS), and it is occasionally used as a diagnostic criterion for the salivary component of SS. To assess its diagnostic effectiveness, we reviewed studies in which sialography was applied to patients with SS and control subjects for the purpose of estimating its diagnostic sensitivity and specificity or comparing it with other means of assessing salivary glands. Sialography appears to be diagnostically less sensitive but more specific than salivary flow rate measurement and more sensitive but less specific than labial salivary gland (LSG) biopsy. Such calculations are based on the diagnosis of SS established in each study, but the various studies used widely different criteria to establish that diagnosis. Therefore, these calculations are not based on a consistent standard, and comparison between the calculations may be misleading, which underscores the need to develop internationally accepted diagnostic criteria for SS. Studies conducted so far have not shown that parotid sialography is either a sensitive indicator of the salivary component of SS or more closely associated than LSG biopsy with keratoconjunctivitis sicca, the only other component of primary SS with which ultimately to assess diagnostic specificity.
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