Sjogren’s Syndrome

This is an autoimmune condition that affects the exocrine glands. It leads to the symptoms of dry mucous membranes, such as dry mouth, dry eyes and dry vagina.

Primary Sjogren’s is where the condition occurs in isolation.

Secondary Sjogren’s is where it occurs related to SLE or rheumatoid arthritis.

It is associated with anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies. 

 

Schirmer Test

The Schirmer test involves inserting a folded piece of filter paper under the lower eyelid with a strip hanging out over the eyelid. This is left in for 5 minutes and the distance along the strip hanging out that becomes moist is measured. The tears should travel 15mm in a healthy young adult. A result of less than 10mm is significant.

 

Management

  • Artificial tears
  • Artificial saliva
  • Vaginal lubricants
  • Hydroxychloroquine is used to halt the progression of the disease.

 

Complications

  • Eye infections such as conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers
  • Oral problems such as dental cavities and candida infections
  • Vaginal problems such as candidiasis and sexual dysfunction

Sjogrens can rarely affect other organs causing complications such as:

  • Pneumonia and bronciectasis
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Vasculitis
  • Renal impairment

 

Last updated April 2019
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