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Research Letter
May 2016

Clinical Characteristics of Parotid Gland SarcoidosisA Population-Based Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 3Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(5):503-504. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.0061

Parotid gland involvement is a well-recognized extrathoracic feature of sarcoidosis. However, data on the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of parotid gland disease in sarcoidosis are limited. This study describes the epidemiologic features of parotid gland involvement in sarcoidosis, with an emphasis on clinical characteristics, in a geographically well-defined population.

A cohort of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents diagnosed with sarcoidosis between January 1, 1976, and December 31, 2013, was identified using the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project.1 Potential cases were screened from diagnostic codes related to sarcoidosis. Diagnoses of sarcoidosis and parotid gland involvement were then confirmed by review of individual medical records. Cases included were pulmonary sarcoidosis with parotid gland involvement and isolated parotid gland sarcoidosis without intrathoracic disease. Diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis required physician diagnosis supported by histopathologic evidence of noncaseating granuloma and/or radiographic findings of intrathoracic sarcoidosis and compatible clinical presentations, without evidence of other granulomatous diseases. The only exception was stage I pulmonary sarcoidosis, which required only radiographic evidence of symmetric bilateral hilar adenopathy. Diagnosis of parotid gland involvement required signs and symptoms of parotid gland infiltration, such as parotid gland enlargement. Biopsy confirmation was not required if the patient had pulmonary sarcoidosis. If the patient did not have pulmonary involvement, parotid gland biopsy with demonstration of noncaseating granuloma was required. In cases without intrathoracic involvement, biopsy-proven isolated granulomatous disease of other specific organs except for the skin was also included if there was no better alternative diagnosis. Patients with a diagnosis of sarcoidosis before residency in Olmsted County were excluded. Approval for this study was obtained from the Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center Institutional Review Boards and the need for patient written informed consent was waived. Data analysis was performed from January 1 to June 30, 2015.

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