Objectives: Articular manifestations (AMs) occurred in approximately 30-60% of patients with primary SS (pSS). We conducted the current study to describe clinical presentation, specific treatment and to report clinical outcome of pSS patients with AM in a large bicentric French cohort.
Methods: Clinical, biological and immunological features of 419 consecutive patients with pSS were recorded in order to describe the clinical and immunological course of pSS AM and to point out the impact of those rheumatological features on pSS evolution.
Results: A total of 188 patients with pSS (172 women, 16 men) exhibited AM. They preceded sicca symptoms in 32, were simultaneous to pSS diagnosis in 98 and followed diagnosis in 59 patients. Clinical presentation was polyarticular and concerned mostly peripheral joints (synovitis, n = 66). Symptoms responded readily to symptomatic treatment in 45 cases (24%). DMARDs or immunosuppressive treatments were introduced in 133 patients: HCQ (n = 111), corticosteroid (n = 53), MTX (n = 12), SSZ (n = 6), AZA (n = 3), LEF (n = 1), etanercept (n = 1) and allochrysine (n = 1). Only one case of RA was diagnosed during the evolution. Statistical analysis identified clinical and biological factors associated with AM (P < or = 0.05): RP, muscular manifestations, renal involvement, peripheral neuropathy, cutaneous vasculitis, and positivity of RF, anti-SSB antibodies and cryoglobulinaemia. Patients with AM at diagnosis were characterized by a multisystemic involvement at the end of the follow-up period (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Although AMs are frequent and usually mild in pSS, these manifestations are associated with a pluri-systemic involvement of pSS.