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HIV Related Parotid Enlargement and Radiation Therapy
Oct 31, 2003

Can you please clarify for me when low-dose radiation can be considered as a possible treatment option for swollen parotid glands.

Is radiation used only when the swelling is due to multiple cysts? Or, can it be used when the parotids are just large but no cysts or lumps are present?

I have very swollen parotid glands on both sides. The swelling appears more prominent because I also have severely sunken cheeks due to fat loss. I saw an ENT doctor who ordered a CT scan. The scan showed no lumps or masses, just very large glands. She said radiation was not an option and there was nothing else to be done.

Needless to say, I was dissapointed to hear what the ENT had to say. If low-dose radiation is an option, I want to pursue it further. Thank-you for your help.

Response from Dr. Henry

Usually HIV-related lympho-epithelial enlargement of the parotids will show some some cystic like structures. I would try to contact a radiation oncologist in your region who has some experience with the technique in HIV+ persons and ask their opinion whether you might benefit from low-dose radiation (they should also review your CTZ scan). If you go to google and search for HIV related parotid enlargement you will likely see numerous postings of interest. KH

Side effects not getting better
Drug combo. for slowing/halting lipoatrophy

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