Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of sicca symptoms and secondary Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Also this study aimed to evaluate the expression of ∝ -smooth muscle actin (∝ -SMA) in minor salivary gland (MSG) specimens, a possible marker of fibrosis responsible for myofibroblastic transformation. Materials and methods: Patients with SSc who were followed in Rheumatology outpatient clinic at a university hospital evaluated. The questionnaire of sicca symptoms and classification of SjS were evaluated according to the American-European Consensus Group (AECG) criteria. Histopathologic evaluations were done in MSG specimens investigating the presence of focal lymphocytic sialadenitis and glandular fibrosis, also assessing the expression of ∝ -SMA. Results: This cross-sectional study included 102 patients with SSc [91 females (89%), mean age 52.5 ± 12 years]. In this cohort 76 (75%) patients had sicca symptoms and 36 (35.3%) patients fulfilled the AECG criteria for SjS; all with limited form. Having SjS found to be associated with older age and the presence of positive anti-SS-A antibodies. On histopathologic examinations, glandular fibrosis was observed in 67 (80%) and lymphocytic sialadenitis was detected in 38 (45%) patients; but only 7 samples were positive for ∝ -SMA. Conclusion: This study suggested sicca symptoms were found to be very common among patients with SSc. Also secondary SjS was detected in nearly one-third of patients with SSc; especially in limited subtype. Anti SS-A positivity and older age were detected as predictors for SjS. Histopathologic evaluations showed significant glandular fibrosis but rare ∝ -SMA staining in patients with SSc.


Fibrosis, scleroderma, sicca, Sjögren's syndrome, alpha-SMA

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