Percutaneous CT–Guided Cryoablation of the Salivary Glands in a Porcine Model

Ji Y. Buethe, Salim Abboud, Kristie Brock, Greg Nizialek, Rod Rezaee, Jay Wasman, Jonathan Frankel, Dean A. Nakamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To evaluate the imaging, histologic changes and safety of computed tomography (CT)–guided cryoablation of the parotid glands in a porcine model. Materials and Methods Unilateral CT–guided parotid gland cryoablation was performed in 5 juvenile miniature pigs. The ablated parotid glands underwent 2 cycles of 10-minute freeze and 5-minute thaw using three 17-g cryoprobes. The animals were monitored daily for complications including pain, frostbite, infection, and sialocele or fistula formation. Follow-up CT was performed at 6 weeks postcryoablation. Pathologic evaluation was performed on 2 of the ablated parotid glands. Results All cryoablations in 5 right parotid glands, with 3 sites in each gland, were technically successful. No symptoms suggestive of facial nerve damage were observed during 6-week follow-up. One pig developed an infected sialocele, which was treated with percutaneous drainage and oral antibiotic therapy. No CT evidence of sialocele or other abnormality was identified at the 6-week follow-up in all pigs. Histologic evaluation was performed on 2 of the parotid gland specimens, 1 with the treated sialocele, and 1 of the remaining pigs without sialocele. Both glands demonstrated postprocedural intraglandular lymph nodes and reactive changes without evidence of sialocele or abscess on histopathology. Conclusions Cryoablation of parotid glands was technically feasible in a porcine model. Only 1 pig developed sialocele, which was successfully treated. Further research is warranted to determine the potential use of salivary gland cryoablation to treat patients with drooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1912
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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