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      Metabolic bone disease as a presenting manifestation of primary Sjögren's syndrome: Three cases and review of literature

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          Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by a progressive lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands with varying degrees of systemic involvement. Chronic inflammation compromises the glands’ function that leads to dry symptoms in the mouth/eyes. Renal involvement is a well recognized extraglandular manifestation of pSS. Metabolic bone disease (MBD), however, rarely occurs as the primary manifestation of a renal tubule disorder due to pSS. To the best of our knowledge there are only 6 reported cases of metabolic bone disease as the primary manifestation of pSS to date. Four of these had distal renal tubular acidosis (RTA), and 2 had a combined picture of distal and proximal tubular dysfunction. We herein present our experience of 3 cases who presented to us with a clinical picture suggestive of MBD. While investigating these patients, we found evidence of RTA, which was found to be secondary to pSS.

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          Clinical and morphological features of kidney involvement in primary Sjögren's syndrome.

          Primary Sjögren's syndrome is a connective tissue disorder affecting primarily the lacrimal and salivary glands, resulting in xerophtalmia and xerostomia. Extraglandular manifestations are frequent and may include renal involvement. We studied the prevalence and nature of kidney involvement in 60 Italian patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome, diagnosed according to the European classification criteria. The following renal laboratory tests were performed in all patients: electrolytes in serum and in 24-h urine, creatinine in serum and in 24-h urine, venous pH and HCO(3)(-), urinalysis, urine culture, urinary osmolality and urine pH. A water deprivation test was performed in patients with morning urine osmolalities below the reference values adjusted for age. An oral ammonium chloride loading test was performed in patients with urine pH above 5.5 from morning samples. Renal biopsy was performed in patients with renal involvement. Sixteen patients (27%) had laboratory evidence of tubular and/or glomerular dysfunction. A variable degree of creatinine clearance reduction was found in eight patients (13%); frank distal tubular acidosis in three (5%); hypokalaemia in four (7%); and pathological proteinuria in 12 (20%). Urine concentrating capacity was defective in 10 out of 48 (21%) tested patients. Only four patients presented with overt clinical manifestations, including hypokalaemic tetraparesis (1), nephrotic syndrome (2), recurrent renal stones with flank pain and haematuria (1). In two patients, signs of renal involvement preceded the onset of sicca syndrome. Renal biopsies from nine patients showed tubulo-interstitial nephritis in six and glomerular disease in three. Patients with renal involvement had a significantly shorter disease duration compared with patients without renal abnormalities. Kidney involvement is a frequent extraglandular manifestation of primary Sjögren's syndrome. It is rarely overt and may precede the onset of subjective sicca syndrome.
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            Clinically significant and biopsy-documented renal involvement in primary Sjögren syndrome.

            Clinically significant renal involvement in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) has been described previously only in isolated case reports. The prevalence and significance of the 2 described syndromes, interstitial nephritis (IN) and glomerulonephritis (GMN), are not well known. In a cohort of 471 patients with pSS who were followed for a mean of 10 years, 20 patients (4.2%) developed overt renal disease. Eighteen patients underwent a percutaneous renal biopsy; 2 patients declined. Ten patients had IN, 8 patients had GMN, and 2 patients presented with both entities. Glomerular histology disclosed changes compatible with membranoproliferative GMN in 5 patients and mesangial proliferative GMN in 4 patients. Patients with IN had a younger disease onset compared with patients with GMN (mean, 36.8 compared with 46.0 yr, p 5 0.063). Patients with GMN had longer disease duration compared with patients with IN (mean, 2.2 compared with 8.0 yr, p 5 0.001). The majority of patients with GMN (80%) had mixed monoclonal cryoglobulinemia IgMk (type II) and lower complement C4 levels. Two patients (both with GMN) developed chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis. Overall, clinically significant renal involvement is infrequent in pSS. IN occurs early in the disease process, while GMN is a late sequela and may have a less favorable prognosis.
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              The management of Sjögren's syndrome.

              Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder, characterized by lymphocytic infiltration and malfunction of the exocrine glands, resulting in dry mouth and eyes. The syndrome can present either alone (primary Sjögren's syndrome) or in the context of an underlying connective tissue disease (secondary Sjögren's syndrome). Systemic features, resulting from cutaneous, respiratory, renal, hepatic, neurologic, and vascular involvement, often occur. Two types of primary Sjögren's syndrome are currently recognized: a benign disease that affects quality of life, and a systemic syndrome associated with increased morbidity and mortality owing to a high risk of malignant transformation, and that requires close follow-up. Ocular involvement, manifested as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is managed with local and systemic stimulators of tear secretion and supportive surgical procedures. Treatment of oral manifestations includes intense oral hygiene, prevention and treatment of oral infections, use of saliva substitutes, and local and systematic stimulation of salivary secretion. Cholinergic agents, such as pilocarpine and cevimeline, are helpful in patients with residual salivary function, and ciclosporin ocular drops seem to be of some benefit. Systemic immunosuppressives are reserved for treatment of severe extraglandular manifestations of Sjögren's syndrome. Anti-B-cell therapy is a new potential therapy for the glandular and extraglandular manifestations, such as glomerulonephritis or vasculitis, in addition to the management of lymphoma associated with Sjögren's syndrome. Induction of oral tolerance and gene-transfer modalities were recently attempted in animal models, with promising results.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Endocrinol Metab
                Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
                Medknow Publications (India )
                Oct-Dec 2011
                : 15
                : 4
                : 341-345
                Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
                [1 ] Department of Radio-diagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Dr. Rajesh Khadgawat, Associate Professor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi – 110 029, India. E-mail: rajeshkhadgawat@
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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