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Sjogren Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Anne V Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
 
Updated: Sep 25, 2015
 
 

Diagnostic Considerations

Sjögren syndrome is associated with a wide variety of other disorders, which may contribute to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis. A careful review of systems is needed to detect problems such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, polymyositis, chronic active hepatitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, primary biliary cirrhosis,[56] and autoimmune thyroid disease.[57]

Xerophthalmia, xerostomia, and enlargement of the parotid glands can result from adverse effects of drugs and other diseases. HIV infection can result in diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome (DILS), which is characterized by parotid enlargement; involvement of the renal, lung, and gastrointestinal systems; and a low frequency of autoantibody presence. Chronic graft versus host disease may mimic symptoms associated with idiopathic Sjögren syndrome.[58] SLE might be considered, especially at onset of the disease.

Histologic findings of the following disorders can be consistent with Sjögren syndrome:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Graft versus host disease
  • HIV infection
  • HTLV-1 infection
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Sicca

Differential diagnoses to consider in patients with sicca include the following:

  • Medications (eg, antidepressants, anticholinergics, beta-blockers, diuretics, antihistamines, some antiarrhythmic and antiepileptic drugs)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Viral infections (eg, mumps)
  • Complications from contact lenses
  • Dehydration
  • Hypervitaminosis A
  • Neurotropic keratitis
  • Mucous membrane pemphigoid
  • Environmental irritants
  • Mouth breathing
  • Chronic blepharitis
  • Chronic conjunctivitis
  • Rosacea
  • Therapeutic radiation or surgery to the head and neck
  • Age
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Parkinson disease
  • Bell palsy
  • Amyloidosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Lymphoma

Parotid enlargement

Differential diagnoses to consider in patients with parotid enlargement include the following:

  • Viral infection (eg, mumps, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, coxsackievirus A, influenza)
  • DILS associated with HIV disease
  • Granulomatous diseases (sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, leprosy)
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Bulimia
  • Recurrent parotiditis of childhood
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Acromegaly
  • Amyloidosis
  • Gonadal hypofunction
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Salivary gland tumor (primarily unilateral)
  • Bacterial infection (primarily unilateral)
  • Chronic sialadenitis (primarily unilateral)
  • Lymphoma

Associated disorders

Importantly, evaluate the patient for disorders associated with Sjögren syndrome, including the following:

  • AIDS
  • RA
  • SLE
  • Scleroderma
  • Polymyositis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Thyroiditis
  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Mixed cryoglobulinemia
  • Celiac sprue

Differential Diagnoses

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Anne V Miller, MD Chief, Rheumatology Division; Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Anne V Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, International Society for Clinical Densitometry

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Mark L Francis, MD Professor of Medical Education, Department of Medical Education, Paul L Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Mark L Francis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Kanchan Pema, MD Associate Professor of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Kanchan Pema, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Sriya K Ranatunga, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University

Sriya K Ranatunga, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, Association of American Medical Colleges

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Anna Tumyan, MD Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Herbert S Diamond, MD Visiting Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; Chairman Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine, Western Pennsylvania Hospital

Herbert S Diamond, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Terry L Barrett, MD Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine; Director, ProPath Dermatopathology, Dallas, Texas

Terry L Barrett, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Dermatological Association, American Medical Association, American Society of Dermatopathology, College of American Pathologists, and United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David F Butler, MD Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Chair, Department of Dermatology, Director, Dermatology Residency Training Program, Scott and White Clinic, Northside Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Association of Military Dermatologists, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Daniel J Dire, MD, FACEP, FAAP, FAAEM Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas-Houston; Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, Texas

Daniel J Dire, MD, FACEP, FAAP, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, and Association of Military Surgeons of the US

Disclosure: Talecris Biotherapeutics Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Dirk M Elston, MD, Director, Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology, New York

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Gino A Farina, MD, FACEP, FAAEM Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

Gino A Farina, MD, FACEP, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Elliot Goldberg, MD Dean of the Western Pennsylvania Clinical Campus, Professor, Department of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine

Elliot Goldberg, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose

Rick Kulkarni, MD Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Division of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Rick Kulkarni, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, American Medical Informatics Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: WebMD Salary Employment

Carlos J Lozada, MD Director of Rheumatology Fellowship Program, Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine

Carlos J Lozada, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Pfizer Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Amgen Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Jeffrey J Miller, MD Associate Professor of Dermatology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Staff Dermatologist, Pennsylvania State Milton S Hershey Medical Center

Jeffrey J Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, Association of Professors of Dermatology, North American Hair Research Society, and Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Joanna Narbutt, MD, PhD Senior Registrar, Lecturer, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Darren Phelan, MD Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Sriya K M Ranatunga, MD, MPH Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head, Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, and Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Anna Sysa-Jedrzejowska, MD, PhD Head, Professor, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

Jolanta Dorota Torzecka, MD, PhD Consulting Staff, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Anna Zalewska, MD, PhD Professor of Dermatology and Venereology, Psychodermatology Department, Chair of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Marked bilateral parotid gland enlargement in a patient with primary Sjögren syndrome. Sicca syndrome is a common clinical finding.
Clinical photograph and photomicrograph of a 48-year-old man with Sjögren syndrome with a large left parotid mass. On biopsy, B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) type was identified. Microscopic section of parotid biopsy, stained with immunoperoxidase for kappa light chains (brown-stained cells), showed monoclonal population of B cells, confirming the diagnosis.
Photograph that demonstrates the Schirmer test, which is used to detect deficient tear production in patients with Sjögren syndrome. The filter paper strip is placed at the junction of the eyelid margins. After 5 minutes, 15 mm of paper should be moistened if tear production is normal, as shown here. Persons older than 40 years may moisten between 10 mm and 15 mm. Patients with Sjögren syndrome have less moistening. Sjögren syndrome is most common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis but may also occur without associated disease and in systemic lupus erythematosus, polyarteritis, systemic sclerosis, lymphoma, and sarcoidosis.
Dryness of the mouth and tongue due to lack of salivary secretion is characteristic of xerostomia associated with Sjögren syndrome. Mouth dryness may produce a deep red tongue, as shown here, and dental caries are common.
Photomicrograph of a lip biopsy specimen showing two lymphocytic foci adjacent to normal-appearing mucinous acini typical of minor salivary gland abnormalities in Sjögren syndrome.
 
 
 
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