Lung manifestation in asymptomatic patients with primary Sjögren syndrome: assessment with high resolution CT and pulmonary function tests

J Thorac Imaging. 2001 Oct;16(4):282-9. doi: 10.1097/00005382-200110000-00009.


The authors studied 37 consecutive patients with primary Sjögren syndrome and normal chest radiographs. Thin-section CT images were analyzed using a semiquantitative grading system. The presence, distribution, and severity of 9 morphologic parameters were assessed. In 34 patients, CT findings were correlated to pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Abnormal high resolution CT (HRCT) findings were seen in 24 of 37 patients (65%): interlobular septal thickening, n = 9; micronodules, n = 9; ground glass attenuation n = 4; parenchymal cysts, n = 5. Intralobular opacities, honey combing, bronchial wall thickening, bronchiectasis, and pleural irregularities were less frequent. Both HRCT and PFTs were normal in 10 patients. Computed tomography was normal in four patients with PFTs that indicated the presence of small airway disease. High resolution CT abnormalities were found in seven patients with normal PFT. The overall correlation between HRCT and PFTs was poor. High resolution CT and PFTs appear to be sensitive for both the early detection of parenchymal abnormalities and a decreases in lung function in asymptomatic patients with primary Sjögren syndrome. However, abnormal HRCT findings do not necessarily indicate a substantial alteration in PFTs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed