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salivary radiation-induced Injury

Monday 18 March 2013

Salivary gland irradiation either for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes may result in disruption of serous acini which are extremely sensitive to the effects of radiation.

Leakage of enzymes into the surrounding salivary tissues results in an acute inflammatory process with subsequent development of a painful, swollen gland. If the irradiation is discontinued, the inflammatory process typically resolves.

However, if the radiation is continued, glandular atrophy and xerostomia are the result. Neoplasms have been known to arise in irradiated glands as well.