The prevalence of Sjogren's syndrome and sicca symptoms in patients with systemic sclerosis and alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in biopsy specimens from minor salivary glands

CAN G., SARIOĞLU S., BIrlIk M., Kenar G., Soysal O., SOLMAZ D., ...More

TURKISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, vol.51, no.4, pp.1875-1882, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/sag-2012-25
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1875-1882
  • Keywords: Fibrosis, scleroderma, sicca, Sjogren's syndrome, alpha-SMA, CLINICAL-FEATURES, CLASSIFICATION, CRITERIA, FIBROSIS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background/aim: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of sicca symptoms and secondary Sjogren's syndrome (SjS) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Also this study aimed to evaluate the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-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 alpha-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 alpha-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 alpha-SMA staining in patients with SSc.