Autonomic failure and proximal skeletal myopathy in a patient with primary Sjögren syndrome

Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Jul;74(7):695-7. doi: 10.4065/74.7.695.


Autonomic failure and proximal skeletal myopathy are rare features of the Sjögren syndrome (SS). We describe a 51-year-old woman with primary SS who had development of esophageal dysmotility, urinary retention, severe orthostatism, and skeletal myopathy during a 3-month period after the diagnosis of SS. Her symptoms and signs responded well to corticosteroid therapy. Although dysfunction of the peripheral nervous system has a prevalence rate of 20% in patients with SS, most commonly the nerve dysfunction is a sensory deficit, and autonomic neuropathy is less frequent. Autonomic neuropathy due to SS may be underreported. The cause of our patient's myopathy remains undetermined. We speculate that the myopathy was due to either a form of polymyositis or an immune-mediated neuropathy with muscle involvement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / etiology
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / etiology
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / etiology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Urinary Retention / etiology
  • Urinary Retention / physiopathology