Sjogren's syndrome is a chronic progressive autoimmune disorder manifested predominately by xerostomia (dry mouth) and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes). It can also affect many body systems. Up to 5% of people over the age of 60 years have primary Sjogren's syndrome, and approximately one third of patients present with extraglandular (systemic) manifestations. This disease is seen mostly in middle-aged women, with a small but significant proportion of these women developing lymphoid neoplasia. The exact etiology is still unknown. This autoimmune disorder is characterized by B-cell activation, the production of numerous auto-antibodies, and the loss of immune tolerance. Salivary gland biopsy remains the most helpful diagnostic test. Treatment is aimed at moisture replacement, which alleviates the discomfort and slows the destructive process. Because of its prevalence in older women, the obstetrician-gynecologist must be aware of the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to Sjogren's syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology