Intraparotid lymph nodes
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Among the salivary glands, only the parotid glands have their own internal lymph nodes due to the late encapsulation of the parotids during embryologic development.
Parotid nodes receive drainage from cutaneous sites, such as around the external ear, forehead/temple, eyelids, cheek, nasal cavities and nasopharynx 8.
Based on cadaveric studies 1,2, the vast majority of normal parotid glands have identifiable lymph nodes (90%). Of these, about two-thirds have lymph nodes in only the superficial lobe, whilst one-third have nodes in both the superficial and deep lobes. Superficial lobes have on average three nodes, while deep lobes should have no more than three nodes. Altogether, superficial lobe nodes account for about 90% of all intraparotid lymph nodes. Within the superficial lobe, nodes tend to be located along the retromandibular vein, particularly in the parotid tail.
Normal intraparotid lymph nodes measure <6 mm 3.
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