Accessory parotid gland

Case contributed by Dr Ammar Haouimi

Presentation

Chronic headaches. Incidental finding.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Female
MRI

There is a small well-defined soft tissue mass located on the lateral aspect of the right masseter muscle completely separated from the parotid gland measuring 20 x 15 x 8 mm and presenting a similar signal and enhancement to the parotid gland.

Minimal peripheral mucosal thickening of the maxillary sinuses.

Otherwise,  unremarkable brain MRI.

Case Discussion

Accessory parotid glands are a normal variant and represent ectopic salivary tissue separate from, but usually in close proximity to, the main parotid glands. Usually discovered incidentally on ultrasound, CT or MRI in ~20% of the general population (as in this case).

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