Background Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is one of the major extraarticular manifestations of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The prevalence of SS in RA varies between 11% and 62% depending on the definition used. Salivary gland histopathology has been considered to be the most disease spesific test for diagnosis of SS.
Objectives In this study, we aimed to investigate the histopatholojic features of minor salivary gland biopsies in RA patients with disease duration longer than 3 years and with no subjective complains of xerophthalmia or xerostomia.
Methods Eighteen (11 male,7 female, mean age 49) RA patients with no subjective complains of ocular or oral dryness were included into study. Minor salivary gland biopsy was performed to all patients and lymphocytic infiltration of a cluster of at least 50 lymphocyte in the gland area of 4 mm2 accepted as a diagnostic criteria for SS. We also performed Schirmer’s test, fluorescein break up time and Rose Bengal staining. The serum levels of rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-SS-A and anti-SS-B antibodies were all assayed.
Conclusion Subclinical SS may be developed in RA patients with no subjective complains of ocular and oral dryness.
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