The salivary gland component of Sjögren's syndrome: an evaluation of diagnostic methods

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1986 Jul;62(1):32-42. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(86)90067-8.


The diagnostic value of sialography, scintigraphy, sialometry, and labial salivary gland biopsy--as indicators of salivary gland dysfunction in Sjögren's syndrome (SS)--was evaluated in 41 patients suspected of having SS. In about 70% of the cases, each of the four examinations showed changes that could indicate a salivary gland component of SS. However, the disease specificity of sialographic and scintigraphic examinations was low. Although the specificity of the labial salivary gland biopsy examination is considered high, our study revealed some cases in which a focus score of 1 to 3 was not accompanied by abnormal changes in either sialometry, sialography, or scintigraphy. At a focus score of more than 3, a fair amount of agreement on the results of the various diagnostic procedures was found. Because labial salivary gland examination shows only minor salivary glands and sialography and scintigraphy include only major salivary glands, variance between different diagnostic procedures is expected. This indicates a potential diagnostic role for sialographic and scintigraphic examination when the labial salivary gland biopsy is insufficient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lip / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Rheumatic Diseases / pathology
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Salivary Glands / diagnostic imaging
  • Salivary Glands / pathology*
  • Salivary Glands / physiopathology
  • Sialography
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology