Possible new organs have been found in the throat: tubular salivary glands

But this is what a group of scientists in the Netherlands believe. He said that he has discovered a pair of previously undiscovered glands hidden in our skulls where the nasal cavity and throat meet.

Medical researchers First came to the part of the body they propose naming the tuberculous glands during a scan designed to visualize tumor growth. The scientists then looked at the head and neck scans of the 100 people they were treating. For prostate cancer and amputated two cadavers – one male and one female. They all had a set.

The discovery was “thrilling”, but the authors were “a little skeptical” at first, the study’s lead author, Mathews H. Said Wallstar, a surgeon in the head and neck oncology and surgery department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

“We thought it wasn’t possible to find it in 2020,” Wallstar said. “It is important that this is repeated and it should be done with different series of patients. It is important to confirm new medical findings.”

Newfound & # 39;  Organ & # 39;  May be the biggest in your body

The study authors stated that the glands could not be seen by conventional methods of medical imaging such as ultrasound, CT scan (computerized topography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

The “unknown entity” was identified only when doctors were using an advanced and new type of scan called PSMA PET / CT, which has been used to detect the spread of prostate cancer. PSMA PET is shorthand for prostate-specific membrane antigen imaging that uses positron emission tomography.

Salivary glands are clearly visible on this highly sensitive type of imaging.

“People have three sets of large salivary glands, but not there,” said author Wouters Vogel, a radiation oncologist from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, in a news statement in May. “As far as we knew, in Nasofiranx The only salivary or mucous glands are microscopically small, and up to 1000 evenly spread throughout the mucosa. So, imagine our surprise when we found it. “

Many great scientific discoveries “come as a surprise – an accidental discovery,” said Joey Ridenberg, a professor of anatomy at the Icon School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who was not involved in the study.

“Fortunately, these researchers were tuned into the data, and were structurally savvy in general, noting that abnormal luminosity in the region was not thought to involve any salivary glands,” Riedenberg added via email. “The famous (late French biologist) Louis Pasteur once said: ‘Chance favors a ready mind.’

New organ?

This observation of salivary gland tissue seen in PSMA PET / CT scans reveals similar imaging characteristics to known major salivary glands and an unknown structure (indicated by arrows).

It was a matter of debate as to whether the tuborial glands were a completely new organ or could be considered part of the salivary gland organ system, the study added.

The study, published in the journal Radiotherapy and Oncology, states, “These findings support the identification of the tubular glands as a new physiological and functional entity.”

The glands may be newly discovered, “but it is difficult to exclude that these may represent clusters of minor salivary glands,” Dr. Said Valerie Fitzhugh, interim chair of pathology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rodgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Fitzhugh was not involved in the study.

Because the study focused on a small number of patients who were mostly male and had specific use instead of standard tests, he said, examination of more women and healthy patients would allow for better data.

Overall, “there is still much to learn about the human body,” Fitzhugh said, “and technology is allowing us to make these discoveries. This may be the first of some exciting discoveries within the body . ”

No matter how the glands are described, the authors stated that their discovery had clinical implications, particularly for patients with head and neck cancer, including tumors in the throat or tongue. Radiotherapy can damage salivary glands, causing dry mouth and trouble swallowing, speaking, and eating.

“For most patients, it should be technically possible to avoid giving radiation to this newly discovered location of the salivary gland system, in the same way that we try to release known glands,” Vogel said.

“Our next step is to find out what we can do best with these new glands and in which patients. If we can do this, patients may experience fewer side effects that reduce their overall quality of life after treatment Will benefit. “


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