(Primary Sjogren Syndrome; Secondary Sjogren Syndrome)
How to Say It: show-GRENS Sin-drom
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Sjogren syndrome is a disorder that causes the immune system to destroy the glands that make tears and saliva. There are two types:
The cause is not known. Genetics, the environment, and hormones may play a role.
This problem is more common in women. It usually starts in those who are 40 to 55 years of age.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. You may also be referred to a dentist for an exam.
Your eyes may be tested. This can be done with:
Blood tests will be done to look for antibodies linked to this syndrome.
Images of the salivary gland may be taken. This can be done with:
Salivary gland tissue may need to be tested. This can be done with a biopsy.
There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Choices are:
People with severe dry eye may need surgery. A plug may be placed in the tear ducts to stop fluid from draining from the eyes.
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
Sjogren syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sjogren-syndrome. Accessed March 2, 2021.
Sjogren's syndrome information page. National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Sj%C3%B6grens-Syndrome-Information-Page. Accessed March 2, 2021.
Vivino FB. Sjogren's syndrome: Clinical aspects. Clin Immunol. 2017 Sep;182:48-54.
2/22/2017 EBSCO DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sjogren-syndrome: Luciano N, Baldini, Tarantini G, et al. Ultrasonography of major salivary glands: a highly specific tool for distinguishing primary Sjögren's syndrome from undifferentiated connective tissue diseases. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015;54(12):2198-2204.
8/1/2019 EBSCO DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sjogren-syndrome: Singh JA, Cleveland JD. The risk of Sjogren's syndrome in the older adults with gout: A medicare claims study. Joint Bone Spine. 2019 Feb 7 [Epub ahead of print].
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/2/2021
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