Radiation therapy as a treatment for benign lymphoepithelial parotid cysts in patients infected with human immunodefiency virus-1

Jeffrey Goldstein, John Rubin, Carl Silver, Keith Meritz, Celia Chao, Joseph Ting, Lawrence Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may develop benign lymphoepithelial cysts within the parotid gland that cause severe facial deformity. Standard treatment for this disorder has been superficial parotidectomy, repeated fine-needle aspirations or observation alone. These approaches are unsatisfactory because elective surgery in immunocompromised patients should be avoided, the cysts recur soon after aspiration, and observation alone for a treatable deforming facial process is unacceptable. Radiotherapy's proven effectiveness in treating other benign disorders of the parotid gland led us to evaluate its usefulness as a treatment for this disorder. Eight patients with parotid enlargement, who were seropositive for HIV, received 8-10 Gy to the parotids in 1 week. Five patients had complete response and three patients had partial response. All were very satisfied with the cosmetic result. Treatment-related toxicity was well tolerated and consisted of mild xerostomia and transient taste loss. In all cases, these side effects resolved within 1 month. Radiation therapy thus appears to be an effective and well-tolerated treatment for AIDS-related parotid enlargement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1050
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes



  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • AIDS
  • Parotid gland
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation

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