Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a relatively common chronic and systemic autoimmune disease. Sjögren’s syndrome can affect various exocrine glands or other organs. It particularly affects secretion production at the mucous membranes, causing dry mouth, decreased tear production, and dryness of other body membranes.
The triad of xerostomia (dry mouth), xerophthalmia (dry eyes), and lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands is also known as “sicca syndrome“, and Sjögren syndrome is a very important cause. Diagnosis is made by specific criteria relating to eye, mouth, and salivary gland involvement, testing for autoantibodies, and in uncertain cases histopathology.
Antibodies specific for Sjögren’s syndrome are the SS-A antibodies and the SS-B antibodies, also referred to as anti-Ro and anti-La, respectively, which form part of the extractable nuclear antigen antibodies (ENA) panel. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are positive in most cases as well as tests for rheumatoid factor often are.