Objectives. We sought to calculate the size and the computed tomography (CT
) number of normal parotid and submandibular glands and to evaluate their r
elationship with respect to sex, age, and obesity in the Korean population.
Study design. The authors investigated the axial CT images of 42 healthy vo
lunteers. The maximum cross-sectional area (MCSA) was used as an indicator
of the size of the gland. Three regions of interest on axial scans were sel
ected to calculate the mean CT number.
Results. There was a significant decrease in the mean MCSA of the submandib
ular gland and the CT number of both glands with age. The MCSA of the subma
ndibular gland in males was larger than that in females. There was a close
correlation between the parotid and the submandibular glands with respect t
o the CT number, as well as between the left and right glands with respect
to the MCSA and the CT number. The body mass index was positively correlate
d with the MCSA of the parotid gland, whereas the body mass indexes and the
CT numbers of both glands were negatively correlated.
Conclusions. Both age and obesity are closely correlated with the size and
the CT number of the major salivary glands. Moreover, the correlation betwe
en the CT numbers of the parotid and the submandibular glands may be used f
or diagnostic purposes.