Objective: To determine whether there were any clinical and biological differences between male and female patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) in a large bicentric series of patient.
Methods: We studied 419 consecutive patients (mean age at onset 53.6 years, mean disease outcome 73 months) with pSS according to American-European criteria, attending two different Departments of Internal Medicine in France. The 42 (9%) male patients in this cohort comprised the male group described in this study.
Results: Extraglandular manifestations during the course of the disease were present in 37 (89%) of our male patients with pSS. The extraglandular manifestations were similar among the two groups except that the male patients showed a lower frequency of depression or asthaenia (5% vs. 20%, p = 0.014) compared with the females. A significantly greater percentage of women reported lymphopaenia (26% vs. 8%, p = 0.02) and leucopaenia (18% vs. 3%, p = 0.015) at onset, but thrombopaenia was more common in the male patients (21% vs. 6%, p = 0.001). Lymphoma development was slightly more common in the male patients, but with no statistical significance (10% vs. 3%, p = 0.06), and occurred earlier after the SS diagnosis (log rank test p = 0.04).
Conclusion: Although pSS is typically a disease affecting women, clinicians should be aware that it may be diagnosed in male patients. Except for haematological presentation, we could not find any notable differences in clinical and immunological characteristics between male and female patients with pSS.