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Autoimmun Rev. 2010 Mar;9(5):A305-10. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2009.11.004. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

The geoepidemiology of Sjögren's syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Physiology, University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece. kmauragan@med.uoa.gr

Abstract

Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is a slowly progressing autoimmune disease, affecting predominantly middle-aged women, with a female to male ratio reaching 9:1. It is characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands, mainly the lacrimal and salivary glands, resulting in reduced secretory functions and oral and ocular dryness. The syndrome can present alone as primary SS (pSS) or in the context of underlying connective tissue disease as secondary SS (sSS). While the pathogenesis of the disease remains elusive, environmental, genetic and hormonal contributors seem to be involved. Over the last years, compelling evidence has suggested a pivotal role of the epithelium in orchestrating the immune response in the histopathological lesion of Sjogren's syndrome and the term "autoimmune epithelitis" has been proposed as an etiological term. Although the clinical manifestations of pSS patients are mainly those of an autoimmune exocrinopathy, almost half of patients develop extraglandular disease, which may be manifested either by epithelial lymphocytic invasion of lung, liver, or kidney (resulting in interstitial nephritis) or by skin vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy, glomerulonephritis, and low C4 levels. The latter reflect immune-complex mediated disease and confer increased risk for lymphoma development.

PMID:
19903539
DOI:
10.1016/j.autrev.2009.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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