TASSA - The Australian Sjögren's Syndrome Association inc.
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Diagnosis

Early diagnosis and treatment are important for preventing complications.

The symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome may overlap with or "mimic" those of other diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, dryness can occur for other reasons, such as a side effect of medication like anti-depressants or high blood pressure medication.

Additionally, because all symptoms are not always present at the same time and because Sjögren's can involve several body systems, physicians and dentists sometimes treat each symptom individually and do not recognize that a systemic disease is present. The average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is over six years. Rheumatologists have primary responsibility for diagnosing and managing Sjögren's syndrome.

Once Sjögren's syndrome is suspected, a physician will request a series of blood tests, including:

ANA (Anti-Nuclear Antibody)
ANAs are a group of antibodies that react against normal components of a cell nucleus. About 70% of Sjögren's patients have a positive ANA test result
   
SSA and SSB
The antibodies SSA (or RO) and SSB (or LA) are often found in Sjögren's syndrome; 70% of patients are positive for SSA and 40% are positive for SSB
   
RF (Rheumatoid Factor)
This antibody test is indicative of a rheumatic disease. In Sjögren's patients, 60-70% have a positive RF
   
ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
This test measures inflammation. An elevated ESR can indicate an inflammatory disorder, including Sjögren's syndrome
   
IGs (Immunoglobulins)
These are normal blood proteins. They are usually elevated in Sjögren's

The physician is likely to refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for further tests and to an oral pathologist or dentist for additional procedures.

The ophthalmologic tests include:

Schirmer Test
Measures tear production
   
Rose Bengal and Lissamine Green
Uses dyes to observe abnormal cells on the surface of the eye
   
Slit-Lamp Exam
Indicates the volume of tears by magnifying the eye and viewing it in its resting state

The dental tests include:
Parotid Gland Flow
Measures the amount of saliva produced over a certain period of time
   
Salivary Scintigraphy
Measures salivary gland function
   
Lip Biopsy
Used to confirm lymphocytic infiltration of the minor salivary glands
   
More information about commonly ordered laboratory tests can be found at www.labtestsonline.org

Information on this page courtesy www.sjogrens.org

Members' Log In
Home
I About TASSA I About Sjögren's I Diagnosis I Treatment
Resources
l Find Doctors I Natural Therapy I Neuropathy I Video I Audio I Shop I Links
Sjögren's FAQ I Sjögren's Glossary I Join Us Now I Donate I Links I Contact Us
Facebook Page I Facebook Group l Twitter I HealthUnlocked
Watch the 12 part information video series Sjögren's Solutions

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