Sjögren's Syndrome

Anti-SS-B (anti-La)

A healthy result should fall into the range 0 - 0.9 AI.

Anti-SS-B (anti-La) is an autoantibody associated with SLE or Sjögren’s syndrome.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

- Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly reacts to the tissue in glands that produce moisture, such as tear and salivary glands.

- It is a chronic, inflammatory disease that often progresses to a more complex, systemic disorder that can affect other tissues and organs in the body such as joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and the intestinal tract.

- Sjögren syndrome is characterized by an unusual accumulation (infiltration) of a particular type of white blood cell, lymphocytes, in the glands that are responsible for fluid production.

- Pregnant women who have autoantibodies related to Sjögren’s syndrome may have a higher risk of miscarriage.

- Sjögren’s syndrome has also been associated with a higher risk of developing lymphoma.

- Sjögren’s syndrome may present as primary or secondary disease, with all cases divided roughly in half between the two:

  • Primary Sjögren syndrome develops gradually with salivary and tear gland function worsening over time and without any other underlying disorder. Primary Sjögren syndrome has a strong female propensity and is more prevalent in Caucasian women, with the mean age of onset usually in the 40s.

  • Secondary Sjögren syndrome occurs when a person already has an autoimmune disorder, such as lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis.

- Complications can may include salivary gland infections and tumors, dental cavities, damage to the eyes, kidney disease, and lung infections.

The epidemiology of Sjögren’s syndrome:

  • According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), between 1 and 4 million people in the United States have Sjögren syndrome.

  • Sjögren syndrome can affect anyone at any age, but the majority of those afflicted are older than 40, and women are nine times more likely than men to have the disorder.

  • It is estimated to be the second most common autoimmune disease, after lupus.

Testing and diagnosing Sjögren’s syndrome:

  • Testing for Sjögren’s syndrome includes looking at symptoms and performing the following tests:

    • ANA

    • anti-SSA

    • anti-SSB

    • RF

    • Salivary gland biopsy

  • anti-SSA antibodies are often found together with anti-SSB. However, anti-SSA antibodies alone are often found in lupus, particularly in limited forms of the disease.
  • anti-SSA often appears before anti-SSB.

Clinical references:

  • Clinical utility of common serum rheumatologic tests. [L]

  • Reviewing primary Sjögren's syndrome: beyond the dryness - From pathophysiology to diagnosis and treatment. [L]

  • Sjogren's syndrome: Clinical aspects. [L]

  • Sjögren's syndrome. [L]

  • Biomarkers for Primary Sjögren's Syndrome. [L]

  • Sjögren's syndrome: a forty-year scientific journey. [L]

  • The epidemiology of Sjögren’s syndrome [L]

  • Autoantibodies in Sjögren’s Syndrome [L]

  • Genes and Sjögren's Syndrome [L]

  • In primary Sjögren's syndrome, HLA class II is associated exclusively with autoantibody production and spreading of the autoimmune response. [L]

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