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Gustatory itching: an unusual complication following superficial parotidectomy

  • R Ricks (a1), R Banga (a1) and M Porter (a1)



We report the previously undocumented complication of gustatory itching following superficial parotidectomy.


Case report and review of the English literature concerning Frey's syndrome, complications of superficial parotidectomy and the pathophysiology of itching.


A 49-year-old woman developed gustatory itching following a superficial parotidectomy. Her symptoms were satisfactorily managed with topical and oral antihistamine preparations. We propose a neurophysiological pathway involving acetylcholine and histamine to explain this phenomenon.


To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of gustatory itching following superficial parotidectomy. The use of antihistamine preparations appears to effectively manage this symptom, without the need for invasive procedures.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr Rupert Ricks, Department of ENT, Worcester Royal Hospital, Worcester WR5 1DD, UK. E-mail:


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Presented as a poster at the South West ENT Academic Meeting, 19 June 2009, Bath, UK.



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Gustatory itching: an unusual complication following superficial parotidectomy

  • R Ricks (a1), R Banga (a1) and M Porter (a1)


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