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Proposal for a new clinical entity, IgG4-positive multiorgan lymphoproliferative syndrome: analysis of 64 cases of IgG4-related disorders


Background: Mikulicz’s disease (MD) has been considered as one manifestation of Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). Recently, it has also been considered as an IgG4-related disorder.

Objective: To determine the differences between IgG4-related disorders including MD and SS.

Methods: A study was undertaken to investigate patients with MD and IgG4-related disorders registered in Japan and to set up provisional criteria for the new clinical entity IgG4-positive multiorgan lymphoproliferative syndrome (IgG4+MOLPS). The preliminary diagnostic criteria include raised serum levels of IgG4 (>135 mg/dl) and infiltration of IgG4+ plasma cells in the tissue (IgG4+/IgG+ plasma cells >50%) with fibrosis or sclerosis. The clinical features, laboratory data and pathologies of 64 patients with IgG4+MOLPS and 31 patients with typical SS were compared.

Results: The incidence of xerostomia, xerophthalmia and arthralgia, rheumatoid factor and antinuclear, antiSS-A/Ro and antiSS-B/La antibodies was significantly lower in patients with IgG4+MOLPS than in those with typical SS. Allergic rhinitis and autoimmune pancreatitis were significantly more frequent and total IgG, IgG2, IgG4 and IgE levels were significantly increased in IgG4+MOLPS. Histological specimens from patients with IgG4+MOLPS revealed marked IgG4+ plasma cell infiltration. Many patients with IgG4+MOLPS had lymphocytic follicle formation, but lymphoepithelial lesions were rare. Few IgG4+ cells were seen in the tissue of patients with typical SS. Thirty-eight patients with IgG4+MOLPS treated with glucocorticoids showed marked clinical improvement.

Conclusion: Despite similarities in the involved organs, there are considerable clinical and pathological differences between IgG4+MOLPS and SS. Based on the clinical features and good response to glucocorticoids, we propose a new clinical entity: IgG4+MOLPS.

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