SEM-EDX Analysis of a Submandibular Gland Salivary Calculus: A Case Report


Sialolithiasis or “salivary lithiasis” is a pathological condition that involves the formation of calcified concrements within the gland parenchyma and its ductal system of the main salivary glands of the head and neck area. Various theories of lithogenesis have been reported, but the etiology of sialoliths still remains unclear. The aim of this case report was to evaluate the biochemical composition and the surface morphology of a sialolith using energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). SEM images of the sialolith detected a concentric laminar architecture of the sialolith’s core surrounded by radial structures that are arranged from the center to the periphery of the sialolith. EDX analysis detected a high percentage of carbon in the central area of the sialolith, indicating the abundance of organic materials. Structures corresponding to a foreign body or bacteria were not detected in any area. Thus, the sialolith presented a mixed genesis, and the increased presence of organic substances over inorganic ones suggests its phlogistic nature.


Sialolithiasis, salivary stones, EDX-SEM

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Article Type
Case Report
Publication history
Received: Fri 01, Jan 2021
Accepted: Mon 18, Jan 2021
Published: Mon 25, Jan 2021
© 2021 Tonino Traini. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.31487/j.SCR.2021.01.17

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Corresponding Author
Tonino Traini
Department of Innovative Technologies in Medicine & Dentistry, University G. d’Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

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