Objective: To assess the occurrence and clinical significance of a cardiovascular autonomic nervous system dysfunction in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS).
Methods: Fifty-one pSS patients participated in this case-control study. Heart rate and blood pressure variability measurements, spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity examinations and cardiovascular reflex tests were performed.
Results: The results of the heart rate and blood pressure variability measurements and also the baroreflex sensitivity parameters of the pSS patients peaked in the lowest percentile ranges of a database on 559 healthy control subjects (P < 0.05). In three of the five cardiovascular reflex tests, the frequencies of abnormal results were significantly higher among the patients than among the controls (P < 0.05), and the median autonomic neuropathy score was also elevated (3 vs 0 in the controls; P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Signs of an autonomic nervous system dysfunction involving the cardiovascular system can be discerned in the majority of pSS patients.