Characteristics of Sjögren's syndrome in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Jun;52(6):1084-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kes374. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Objective: To compare features of SS in RA with primary SS and RA without SS.

Methods: Patients hospitalized between January 2007 and December 2010 were retrospectively studied. Seventy-four cases of overlap RA and SS (RA/SS) among 509 cases of RA were identified. Cases of SS (n = 187) detected during the same period acted as controls.

Results: Among those with RA/SS, there were 46 cases of RA-onset SS and 12 cases of SS-onset RA. Sixteen patients had simultaneous-onset RA and SS. Compared with RA without SS, RA/SS patients had more severe arthritis; a higher incidence of haematological abnormality, fever and rash; and a higher frequency of RF, ANAs and anti-SSA and anti-SSB antibodies (P < 0.05). Compared with primary SS, RA/SS patients were older, had more severe arthritis, anaemia and lung involvement; a lower incidence of fever, rash, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and hyperthyroidism; and a higher frequency of RF, anti-keratin antibody, anti-perinuclear factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated antibodies (P < 0.05). Compared with RA and primary SS, RA/SS patients had higher disease activity scores of both RA and SS.

Conclusion: RA/SS patients have distinctive features, with more complications and systemic involvement. In addition, disease activity is higher in RA/SS.

Keywords: Sjögren’s syndrome; disease activity; rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Autoantibodies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Rheumatoid Factor