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parotid gland


Definition: the largest of the salivary glands, one of the bilateral compound acinous glands situated in the parotid bed, inferior and anterior to the ear, on either side, extending from the angle of the jaw inferiorly, to the zygomatic arch superiorly, posteriorly to the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and medially into the infratemporal fossa, deep to the ramus of the mandible; it is subdivided into a superficial part (pars superficialis) and a deep part (pars profunda) by emerging branches of the facial nerve, and discharges in seromucous saliva through the parotid duct.

Synonym(s): glandula parotideaTA, external salivary gland, glandula parotis

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.