Accessory parotid glands

Accessory parotid glands are a normal variant and represent ectopic salivary tissue present away and separate from the main parotid gland 1.

Accessory parotid glands are not rare and are seen in ~20% of the general population 2.

Located on the masseter muscle, anterior to the main parotid gland, in close association (usually above) or anterior to the Stensen's duct 2, 3.

Accessory parotid glands have their own blood supply and secondary duct emptying into the Stensen's duct 4.

Accessory parotid glands have the same CT density and MRI signal as the main parotid glands.

Any disorder that affects the main parotid gland may also affect the accessory parotid tissue, but tumours of the accessory parotid glands are rare 5, 6.

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Article Information

rID: 30211
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Accessory parotid gland

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