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, 366 (9482), 321-31

Sjögren's Syndrome


Sjögren's Syndrome

Robert I Fox. Lancet.


Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the exocrine glands with associated lymphocytic infiltrates of the affected glands. Dryness of the mouth and eyes results from involvement of the salivary and lacrimal glands. The accessibility of these glands to biopsy enables study of the molecular biology of a tissue-specific autoimmune process. The exocrinopathy can be encountered alone (primary Sjögren's syndrome) or in the presence of another autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or progressive systemic sclerosis. A new international consensus for diagnosis requires objective signs and symptoms of dryness including a characteristic appearance of a biopsy sample from a minor salivary gland or autoantibody such as anti-SS-A. Exclusions to the diagnosis include infections with HIV, human T-lymphotropic virus type I, or hepatitis C virus. Therapy includes topical agents to improve moisture and decrease inflammation. Systemic therapy includes steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, disease-modifying agents, and cytotoxic agents to address the extraglandular manifestations involving skin, lung, heart, kidneys, and nervous system (peripheral and central) and haematological and lymphoproliferative disorders. The most difficult challenge in diagnosis and therapy is patients with symptoms of fibromyalgia (arthralgia, myalgia, fatigue) and oral and ocular dryness in the presence of circulating antinuclear antibodies.

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