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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


EBRAHIM, S; SINGH, B  and  RAMKLASS, SS. HIV-associated salivary gland enlargement: a clinical review. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2014, vol.69, n.9, pp.400-403. ISSN 0375-1562.

Salivary gland disease is well established as an important HIV associated oral lesion. It manifests as salivary gland swelling involving one or both parotid glands with or without xerostomia. In the context of HIV, the swelling may be due to a wide spectrum of pathological conditions that include reactive or inflammatory disorders, acute and chronic infections, and neoplasms. This paper reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, aspects of diagnosis and management of HIV associated salivary gland enlargement, in particular parotid gland enlargement, due to benign lymphoepithelial cysts (BLEC). Parotid gland enlargement is typically an early manifestation in the HIV-positive patient and should alert healthcare professionals to the likelihood of HIV infection. FNAC of the parotid gland is required to confirm the diagnosis and instituting HAART forms an important part of the management. There is a shift away from surgery in the treatment of this essentially ‘benign’ condition.

Keywords : HIV; salivary gland disease; parotid enlargement; benign lymphoepithelial cysts.

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