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Contributors: Jillian Gold, Abberly Lott-Limbach MD
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Parotitis is sialadenitis of one or both parotid glands, and is most commonly acute but can also be seen as chronic condition. Characteristic findings include swelling in area of angle of the mandible with erythema and tenderness. Other signs and symptoms include drooling, jaw / neck pain, fever, fatigue, and lymphadenopathy.

Predisposing factors include diabetes or other immunocompromise, recent surgery, poor oral hygiene, poor oral intake, and severe dehydration.

Common etiologies include:
  • Bacterial infection, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium avium, and viridans streptococci
  • Viral infection, eg, paramyxovirus (mumps), Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, human immunodeficiency virus
  • Autoimmune disease, eg, Sjögren syndrome
  • Medications / toxins
  • Decreased salivary flow or blockage secondary to poor hydration in elderly patients with reduced oral intake, or postoperative patients, especially after hip and abdominal surgeries
Juvenile recurrent parotitis is unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid gland without fever in children. It is recurrent and may be painful. It is self-limiting, usually resolving after puberty. Etiology is not yet known or understood.

Related topic: suppurative parotitis


K11.20 – Sialoadenitits, unspecified

14756005 – Parotitis

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Drug-induced xerostomia
  • Parotid gland carcinoma, including Burkitt lymphoma

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:03/20/2018
Last Updated:10/05/2022
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A medical illustration showing key findings of Parotitis : Fever, Amylase elevated, Jaw pain, Malaise, Neck pain, Parotid enlargement
Clinical image of Parotitis - imageId=6175609. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A faint pink mass at the inferior earlobe.'
A faint pink mass at the inferior earlobe.
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