Primary salivary gland amyloidosis causing sicca syndrome

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1992 Jun;101(6):487-90. doi: 10.1177/000348949210100607.


Sicca syndrome (SS), consisting of xerostomia and xerophthalmia, may be caused by various disease processes. We present a unique case of SS secondary to primary amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a rare but definite cause of SS and should be included in the differential diagnosis of any patient who presents with sicca symptoms. A literature review comparing amyloidotic patients with SS and patients with amyloidosis only demonstrates that both of these groups of patients present similarly with regard to symptoms. However, the majority of patients with SS present with sicca symptoms initially in addition to symptoms of amyloidosis. These SS patients also present with proteinuria and negative serology test results. Therefore, patients presenting with sicca symptoms, proteinuria, and negative serologic findings should be suspect for amyloidosis. The importance of distinguishing the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome from SS in these patients cannot be overemphasized. There is a significantly higher incidence of developing a lymphoma in Sjögren's syndrome patients. This has important implications for the head and neck surgeon treating these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / complications*
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parotid Gland / pathology
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / complications*
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / diagnosis
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / pathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / etiology*
  • Staining and Labeling