Sjogren syndrome

Alternative Names

Xerostomia-Sjogren syndrome; Keratoconjunctivitis sicca – Sjogren’s

Definition of Sjogren syndrome

Sjogren syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed. The condition may affect many different parts of the body, including the kidneys and lungs.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause of Sjogren syndrome is unknown. The syndrome occurs most often in women ages 40 – 50. It is rare in children. Young patients usually have signs of another autoimmune disorder first.


and eyes are the most common symptoms of this syndrome.

Signs and tests

A physical examination reveals dry eyes and mouth. There may be mouth sores because of the mouth dryness.


The goal is to relieve symptoms. Dry eyes may be treated with artificial tears, eye-lubricating ointments, or cyclosoporine liquid. Tiny plugs can be placed in the tear drainage ducts to help the tears stay on the surface of the eye.

Expectations (prognosis)

The disease is usually not life-threatening. The outcome depends on what other diseases you have.


Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/31/2009


ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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