Xerostomia is a common adverse effect of radiation therapy at the head and neck area. Radiation-induced xerostomia can be severe and detrimental for the quality of life. Clinicians and radiologists have focused on the prevention of xerostomia as feasible, which has been significantly improved in the recent decades with the use of the contemporary radiation technology. However, radiation-induced xerostomia still remains one of the most devastating side effects of radiation therapy. Clinical risk factors have been identified, but the variation of its incidence and presentation has turned the focus on the investigation of parameters that would be able to predict the onset of acute or chronic xerostomia for each individual patient. Recently, potential imaging parameters and biomarkers are investigated in order for early prediction of the incidence and severity of xerostomia. Here, we compile the resulting imaging biomarkers as have been identified in the recent literature based on MRI and CT performed in correlation with radiation therapy. The identification of such biomarkers is very promising for the prevention and control of xerostomia in the head and neck radiation setting.

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Published in Magnetochemistry, v. 7, issue 1, 5.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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