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Scand J Rheumatol. 1986;15(3):333-9.

Hand radiographic changes in patients with primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome.


Unselected hand radiographs from 37 primary Sjögren's syndrome patients (pSS), 19 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Sjögren's syndrome (secondary SS) and 29 patients with RA only were evaluated blind by osteoradiologists, using reference radiographs for scoring joint space narrowing and erosion at the proximal interphalangeal joints, the metacarpophalangeal joints and the wrists. A history of arthralgias and/or arthritis of the above joints was taken from the patients charts. It is shown that pSS patients suffer from transient episodes of arthralgias and/or arthritis, while both secondary SS and RA patients had a history of chronic arthritis of the small joints of the hand. Evaluation of the hand radiographs showed that pSS patients exhibited mild joint space narrowing but no erosions, whereas the other two groups of patients presented with more severe joint space narrowing and varying degrees of erosions. Finally, RA patients without SS had more advanced radiographic changes than secondary SS patients. Thus hand X-rays can be used in addition to the previously described clinical differences in the differentiation of primary and secondary SS.

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