Clinical and histological analysis of labial lip biopsy in Sjögren syndrome

J Dermatol. 1991 Jan;18(1):25-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.1991.tb03034.x.


Labial lip biopsy findings from 52 patients with Sjögren syndrome (SjS) and cutaneous manifestations were clinically analyzed. Findings of the labial lip biopsy with more than one focus (a cluster of at least 50 lymphocytes) were positive in 52% (28/52). Sixteen patients who presented with oral dryness had negative labial lip biopsy findings with less than one focus score and five patients without oral dryness had positive results. Cells infiltrating into the salivary gland were categorized as plasma cell rich (Group 1), lymphocyte rich (Group 3), intermediate (Group 2), or no gland in biopsied specimens (Group 4). Sicca complaint and the grade of lip biopsy score were significantly higher in Group 3 than in Group 1; no differences were observed in laboratory findings between Groups 1 and 3. The patterns of age distribution and salivary flow rate were also not statistically significant in these two groups. The patients with plasma cell rich infiltrate presented oral dryness, although their clinical and grade of lip biopsy scores were relatively low; most of these patients have secondary SjS. Some of the patients in Group 4 showed an advanced stage of the disease through their lip biopsy score was grade 1 with atrophic or no gland. These data suggest that labial lip biopsy is a useful screening method for the diagnosis of Sjögren syndrome and that clinical manifestations may differ in parallel with the type of infiltrating cell.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Lip / pathology*
  • Lip Diseases / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology*
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis
  • Xerostomia / pathology