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Medicine (Baltimore). 2000 Jul;79(4):241-9.

Clinically significant and biopsy-documented renal involvement in primary Sjögren syndrome.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Medical School, National University of Athens, Greece.


Clinically significant renal involvement in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) has been described previously only in isolated case reports. The prevalence and significance of the 2 described syndromes, interstitial nephritis (IN) and glomerulonephritis (GMN), are not well known. In a cohort of 471 patients with pSS who were followed for a mean of 10 years, 20 patients (4.2%) developed overt renal disease. Eighteen patients underwent a percutaneous renal biopsy; 2 patients declined. Ten patients had IN, 8 patients had GMN, and 2 patients presented with both entities. Glomerular histology disclosed changes compatible with membranoproliferative GMN in 5 patients and mesangial proliferative GMN in 4 patients. Patients with IN had a younger disease onset compared with patients with GMN (mean, 36.8 compared with 46.0 yr, p 5 0.063). Patients with GMN had longer disease duration compared with patients with IN (mean, 2.2 compared with 8.0 yr, p 5 0.001). The majority of patients with GMN (80%) had mixed monoclonal cryoglobulinemia IgMk (type II) and lower complement C4 levels. Two patients (both with GMN) developed chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis. Overall, clinically significant renal involvement is infrequent in pSS. IN occurs early in the disease process, while GMN is a late sequela and may have a less favorable prognosis.

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