Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Rheumatol. 2001 Oct;28(10):2245-51.

Prevalence and characteristics of Sjögren's syndrome or Sicca syndrome in chronic hepatitis C virus infection: a prospective study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Limoges University Hospital, France.



To describe the prevalence and clinical and laboratory characteristics of sicca syndrome and Sjögren's syndrome (SS) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


Forty-five consecutive HCV infected patients referred for liver biopsy were enrolled in a prospective study. Subjective and objective criteria of xerophthalmia or xerostomia were systematically investigated and the patients classified according to 3 sets of criteria (European, Manthorpe, and Fox criteria) for the diagnosis of SS.


Sicca syndrome was present in 28 (62%) patients; all had oral dryness and 14 had both oral and ocular dryness. Twenty-four (53%) patients had SS by the European criteria, 25 (56%) by Manthorpe criteria, and 4 (8%) by Fox criteria. Salivary gland biopsy was positive for SS (grade III or IV by Chishom classification) in 21 samples (47%); 9 samples (21%) were classified grade 0, and 15 (32%) grade I or II. No patient had anti-SSA or anti-SSB antibodies. The presence of SS or sicca syndrome was associated with older age and liver disease activity according to the METAVIR scoring system, but not with the presence of other extrahepatic manifestations or with HCV genotype. A high METAVIR activity score was only statistically associated with primary SS.


HCV infection appears to account for a subgroup of patients with sicca syndrome in which half the cases meet the definition for SS according to European and Manthorpe criteria. This subgroup is characterized by the constant finding of xerostomia, the absence of classical systemic manifestations observed in primary SS, and the absence of anti-SSA or anti-SSB antibodies. Such characteristics delineate a distinctive, virus associated entity that differs from primary SS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk