Purpose: To evaluate the usefulness of the combination of the two non-invasive modalities US and MR imaging to diagnose masses in the parotid region. Material and Methods: The US and MR findings of 21 patients with parotid masses were analyzed retrospectively by two radiologists without any clinical or histopathological information. The specific points evaluated were location, shape, margin, internal architecture, and intensity level on both US and MR, posterior echo enhancement on US, and capsule-like lining of the tumor on MR. Results: The findings concerning the shape and margin on US and MR were in fairly good agreement. Concerning the findings of the internal architecture, US could reveal the minute structures of the tumor while MR demonstrated differences in the signal intensities of histological tissue types of the various tumors. The posterior echo enhancement on US and the capsule-like lining on MR of the tumors were also useful for the diagnosis. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the combination of US and MR is useful for examining soft tissue masses in the parotid region to make a more accurate diagnosis, and not just differentiate malignant lesions from those which are benign.
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