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Blunt trauma to the parotid gland
  1. O D Smith*,
  2. D J McFerran,
  3. N Antoun
  1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  2. Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital
  1. Correspondence to: Mr McFerran, Department of Otolaryngology, Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road, Colchester CO3 3NB, UK (donmcferran{at}


Trauma involving the parotid gland is rare and is usually caused by penetrating injuries or fractures of the facial skeleton. A unique case is presented of rupture of the parotid gland after a minor external force in a 14 year old boy. The radiological findings are presented, which pointed to diffuse rupture of the gland parenchyma with an intact duct system. A conservative management policy using antibiotics and anticholinergics was effective, with complete resolution of symptoms. A literature review of more serious parotid injuries supported the conservative management policy.

  • parotid gland
  • trauma
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  • * Mr O D Smith has died since this article was written.

  • Contributors

    Dan Smith and Don McFerran were responsible for the patient's care throughout the clinical course, identifying the rarity and significance of the case. They also jointly conducted the literature review and prepared the text of the manuscript. Nagi Antoun, an experienced consultant neuroradiologist, conducted and interpreted the radiographic images of figures 1 to 3. He also proof read the final manuscript, and provided expert opinion into the condition of parotid trauma and the differential diagnosis of recurrent parotitis of childhood.

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