Parotitis physical examination

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S. Kiran Singh, M.D. [2]


The presence of swollen parotid glands, unilaterally or bilaterally, is diagnostic of parotitis. Patients may also present erythema in the neck or side of the face, radiating from the swollen parotid gland. Parotitis patients are usually ill-appearing if the cause is infectious due to other symptoms of the cause, such as low-grade fever or malaise. Patients with recurrent parotitis that is not from an infection may appear well if there is no fever present.

Physical Examination

Appearance of the Patient

  • Patients with infectious causes of parotitis are usually ill-appearing.[1]
  • Recurrent, non-infectious parotitis patients are usually well-appearing but can appear ill if fever is present.[2]

Vital Signs

  • Low-grade fever may be present in parotitis patients.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Mumps | For Healthcare Providers | CDC".
  2. Tomar RP, Vasudevan R, Kumar M, Gupta DK (2014). "Juvenile recurrent parotitis". Med J Armed Forces India. 70 (1): 83–4. doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2012.08.013. PMC 3946474. PMID 24623953.
  3. Gadodia A, Bhalla AS, Sharma R, Thakar A, Parshad R (2011). "Bilateral parotid swelling: a radiological review". Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 40 (7): 403–14. doi:10.1259/dmfr/17889378. PMC 3528147. PMID 21960397.

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