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New Standards to Improve Diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome
The criteria were announced by UCSF on August 10 and are outlined in an article published in Arthritis Care & Research.
As many as 4 million Americans have Sjögren’s syndrome — the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease in the U.S. Ninety percent of those affected are women.
The diagnosis and management of Sjögren’s syndrome requires three areas of specialty practice: rheumatology, ophthalmology, and oral medicine/pathology.
Until now, physicians diagnosing the disease relied on a combination of objective tests and subjective features, such as patient reports of signs and symptoms.
The Sjögren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance (SICCA) was created to develop a simpler and more objective set of criteria, establishing a universal standard for Sjögren's syndrome.
Tests for the new classification criteria include:
- Anti-SS-A/B serology, which measures the level of specific Sjögren’s syndrome antibodies in blood.
- Labial salivary gland biopsy (the removal of minor salivary glands from the lips), which demonstrates a specific pattern of inflammation associated with Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Staining the eye’s surface with a specialized dye to test for keratoconjunctivitis sicca, an eye disease caused by eye dryness. A score of three or more is considered to be positive.
Two of the three tests must be positive for a person to be diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome.
For more information, visit the UCSF Web site.