Dr Ian Bickle and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Pneumoparotid refers to air in the parotid gland and can cause unilateral/bilateral parotid swelling. In severe cases it can be associated with subcutaneous emphysema


Any profession or recreation that increases oral positive pressure can cause air to reflux up the parotid ducts into the parotid gland. Examples include brass/woodwind players, glassblowers and underwater divers. 

Non-occupational causes are self-induced, such as suppressing chronic cough. It may also be part of a psychiatric and malingering disorders 2

Radiographic features

Air can be shown within the parotid on x-ray, ultrasound or CT with the latter being the most sensitive 2,3.

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Article information

rID: 39973
System: Head & Neck
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Wind parotitis
  • Pneumatocele glandulae parotis
  • Pneumosialadenitis

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Cases and figures

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  • Case 2
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