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Autoimmunity. 2017 Dec;50(8):451-457. doi: 10.1080/08916934.2017.1385776. Epub 2017 Oct 8.

Fatty infiltration of the minor salivary glands is a selective feature of aging but not Sjögren's syndrome.

Author information

1
a Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program , Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) , Oklahoma City , OK , USA.
2
b Department of Pathology , University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) , Oklahoma City , OK , USA.
3
c College of Dentistry , OUHSC , Oklahoma City , OK , USA.
4
d Department of Ophthalmology , Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore , MD , USA.
5
e Division of Oral Medicine and Diagnosis, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
6
f Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
7
g Department of Medicine , OUHSC , Oklahoma City , OK , USA.
8
h Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Center , Oklahoma City , OK , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Determine the presence and assess the extent of fatty infiltration of the minor salivary glands (SG) of primary SS patients (pSS) as compared to those with non-SS sicca (nSS).

METHODS:

Minor SG biopsy samples from 134 subjects with pSS (n = 72) or nSS (n = 62) were imaged. Total area and fatty replacement area for each glandular cross-section (n = 4-6 cross-sections per subject) were measured using Image J (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD). The observer was blinded to subject classification status. The average area of fatty infiltration calculated per subject was evaluated by logistic regression and general linearized models (GLM) to assess relationships between fatty infiltration and clinical exam results, extent of fibrosis and age.

RESULTS:

The average area of fatty infiltration for subjects with pSS (median% (range) 4.97 (0.05-30.2)) was not significantly different from that of those with nSS (3.75 (0.087-41.9). Infiltration severity varied widely, and subjects with fatty replacement greater than 6% were equivalently distributed between pSS and nSS participants (χ2 p = .50). Age accounted for all apparent relationships between fatty infiltration and fibrosis or reduced saliva flow. The all-inclusive GLM for prediction of pSS versus non-SS classification including fibrosis, age, fatty replacement, and focus score was not significantly different from any desaturated model. In no iteration of the model did fatty replacement exert a significant effect on the capacity to predict pSS classification.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fatty infiltration is an age-associated phenomenon and not a selective feature of Sjögren's syndrome. Sicca patients who do not fulfil pSS criteria have similar rates of fatty infiltration of the minor SG.

KEYWORDS:

Sjögren’s syndrome; aging; fatty replacement; minor salivary gland; pathology

PMID:
28988489
PMCID:
PMC5730459
DOI:
10.1080/08916934.2017.1385776
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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