Peripheral neuropathy in an outpatient cohort of patients with Sjögren's syndrome

Muscle Nerve. 2006 May;33(5):672-6. doi: 10.1002/mus.20514.


Peripheral neuropathy is common in patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS), but its precise prevalence is unknown. Most prior studies were conducted at neurology or rheumatology specialty clinics and likely selected for a more severely affected population. We evaluated 22 SS patients and 10 controls for evidence of neuropathy in an outpatient setting at a regional meeting of the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. We performed neurological examinations and nerve conduction studies (NCSs) and measured serum antinuclear antibody (ANA) and SS-A and SS-B antibody levels. Participants filled out a questionnaire pertaining to symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. We found that signs and symptoms related to small axons were more common in patients with SS than in controls. Complaints of painful distal paresthesias in the feet were noted in 59% of patients but in only 10% of controls, and of abnormal sweating in 41% and 0%, respectively. Examination revealed decreased pinprick sensation in 64% of patients with SS, but in only 30% of controls. Overall, 45% of the patients but none of the controls were thought to have an isolated small-fiber neuropathy. Large-fiber dysfunction (as measured by testing vibration, deep tendon reflexes, and NCSs) was similar between the two groups. We conclude that small-fiber neuropathy is common in patients with SS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Outpatients*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • SS-A antibodies
  • SS-B antibodies