Objective: Several studies have suggested that ethanol affects the pancreas and parotid gland. We performed a prospective study to determine whether ductal lesions of ethanol-induced chronic pancreatitis occur in the parotid. Methods: Parotid sialograms were performed in 11 alcoholic patients who had endoscopic retrograde pancreatograms. Sialograms and pancreatograms were examined in all subjects for ductal abnormalities. Results: Seven of nine patients (77.8%) with ductal lesions of the pancreas had coexistent ductal abnormalities of the parotid gland (Kendall's tau = 0.578, p = 0.035). Conclusions: Chronic ethanol intake induces ductal alterations in the parotid gland similar to those seen in the pancreas. These results suggest a common histopathological effect of alcohol in the ductal system of the parotid gland and pancreas and raise the possibility that the parotid sialogram could be useful as an adjunct in the diagnosis of ethanol-induced chronic pancreatitis.
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