Severe chronic bronchiolitis as the presenting feature of primary Sjögren's syndrome

Respir Med. 2011 Jan;105(1):130-6. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.07.017. Epub 2010 Nov 2.


Sjögren's syndrome is a frequent auto-immune disorder with a pulmonary location in almost 10% of the patients. Although bronchial involvement is very common, most patients only complain of cough and this involvement rarely results in severe symptoms or chronic respiratory failure are rarely observed. We describe here 5 patients with severe chronic bronchiolitis revealing primary Sjögren's syndrome. The lung involvement resulted in chronic bronchorrhea, recurrent sinusitis, diffuse bronchiolar nodules with bronchiectasis on the CT scan, and a severe obstructive airway pattern on lung function tests. Improvement was obtained in 4 patients with combination of inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled long acting beta-agonists, and a low dose of erythromycin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Bronchiolitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiolitis / etiology*
  • Bronchiolitis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed