IgG4-related diseases including Mikulicz's disease and sclerosing pancreatitis: diagnostic insights

J Rheumatol. 2010 Jul;37(7):1380-5. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.091153. Epub 2010 May 1.


Since the first report of serum IgG4 elevation in sclerosing pancreatitis in 2001, various systemic disorders have been reported to elevate IgG4, and many names have been proposed from the perspective of the systemic condition. Despite similarities in the organs damaged in IgG4-related Mikulicz's disease and Sjögren's syndrome, there are marked clinical and pathological differences between the 2 entities. The majority of cases diagnosed with autoimmune pancreatitis in Japan are IgG4-related sclerosing pancreatitis, and it should be recognized that this is distinct from the Western type. Diagnosis of IgG4-related disease is defined by both elevated serum IgG4 (> 1.35 g/l) and histopathological features, including lymphocyte and IgG4+ plasma cell infiltration (IgG4+ plasma cells/IgG+ plasma cells > 50% on a highly magnified slide checked at 5 points). Differential diagnosis from other distinct disorders is necessary: these include sarcoidosis, Castleman's disease, Wegener's granulomatosis, lymphoma, cancer, and other existing conditions. The Japanese IgG4 research group has begun multicenter prospective studies to improve diagnostic criteria and treatment strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Mikulicz' Disease* / diagnosis
  • Mikulicz' Disease* / immunology
  • Mikulicz' Disease* / pathology
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Pancreatitis* / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis* / immunology
  • Pancreatitis* / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Salivary Glands / cytology
  • Salivary Glands / pathology
  • Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology


  • Immunoglobulin G