Peripheral neuropathy in primary sjogren syndrome: a population-based study

Arch Neurol. 2006 Nov;63(11):1612-5. doi: 10.1001/archneur.63.11.1612.


Background: Neurological manifestations appear to be frequently involved in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome (PSS).

Objective: To investigate the involvement of the peripheral nervous system, including small-diameter nerve fibers, in an unselected cohort of patients who fulfilled the new international criteria for PSS.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Stavanger University Hospital. Patients Sixty-two patients with PSS (mean +/- SD age, 57.1 +/- 14.6 years).

Interventions: Clinical neurologic examinations, conventional nerve conduction studies, and skin punch biopsies.

Main outcome measures: Signs of large-diameter and small-diameter peripheral nerve fiber neuropathy as determined by clinical examination, nerve conduction studies, and densities of intraepidermal nerve fibers in skin punch biopsy specimens.

Results: Seventeen patients (27%) were diagnosed as having neuropathy after clinical examination. The results of nerve conduction studies were abnormal in 34 patients (55%): 19 patients (31%) had motor neuropathy, 8 (13%) had sensory neuropathy, and 7 (11%) had sensorimotor neuropathy. Two patients had intraepidermal nerve fiber densities less than 3.4 fibers per millimeter, fitting the morphologic criteria for small-diameter nerve fiber neuropathy.

Conclusions: Peripheral neuropathy occurs in a large proportion of patients with PSS, in most cases as a subclinical demyelinating neuropathy. Small-diameter nerve fiber neuropathy is not a frequent finding in these patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology
  • Skin / pathology