Subgroups of Sjögren syndrome patients according to serological profiles

J Autoimmun. 2012 Aug;39(1-2):15-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 May 8.


Sjögren Syndrome (SS) is a systemic, autoimmune disorder characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands. Different clinical associations have been described for each of the diverse autoantibodies found in SS patients. Antibodies directed against the Ro/La ribonucleoprotein complexes have been correlated with younger age, more severe dysfunction of the exocrine glands and a higher prevalence of extraglandular manifestations. Anti-nuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factors have been associated to extraglandular manifestations and an active immunological profile, while cryoglobulins are markers of more severe disease and correlate to lymphoma development and death. Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides are scarce in SS and have been linked in some cases to the development of non-erosive arthritis. Furthermore, the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibodies and anti-smooth muscle antibodies in the sera of primary SS patients is considered indicative of primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune hepatitis, respectively. In addition, anti-centromere antibodies have been associated with a clinical phenotype intermediate between primary SS and systemic sclerosis, while antibodies against carbonic anhydrase have been related to renal tubular acidosis. Finally, an association of anti-muscarinic antibodies with cytopenias and a higher disease activity has also been described in primary SS. In conclusion, although not all of the above mentioned antibodies are useful for predicting distinct patient subgroups in SS, knowledge of the clinical associations of the different autoantibody specificities encountered in SS can advance our understanding of the disease and improve patient management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • RNA, Small Cytoplasmic / immunology
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Rheumatoid Factor / immunology
  • Ribonucleoproteins / immunology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / classification*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • RNA, Small Cytoplasmic
  • RO60 protein, human
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SS-B antigen
  • Rheumatoid Factor