Serum glucose and immunoreactive insulin (IRI) responses to oral glucose and intravenous insulin tolerance tests were determined in dogs before and after total bilateral extirpation of their submaxillary glands. A comparison was made with a control group of dogs before and after sham operations. Postoperative studies were performed at one, three and six months after surgery. No significant differences in glucose and IRI responses were observed between the two groups of dogs, nor upon comparison of the responses within each group at the various periods studied.
A review of the literature which relates the salivary glands to diabetes mellitus in both experimental and clinical studies is presented. Our own experience of diabetes mellitus with apparent salivary gland involvement is briefly discussed.
It is concluded that despite the relatively frequent association of salivary gland involvement and diabetes mellitus, the role of these glands in the pathogenesis and management of diabetes mellitus is obscure. At this time there is no apparent rationale to the performance of total submaxillary gland extirpation for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.