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The liver is a common non-exocrine target in primary Sjögren's syndrome: A retrospective review

By Mariana J Kaplan and Robert W Ike


BACKGROUND: The autoimmune destruction of exocrine glands that defines primary Sjögren's syndrome (1°SS) often extends to non-exocrine organs including the liver. We aimed to determine the prevalence of liver disease in patients with 1°SS and to evaluate the association of this complication with other non-exocrine features and serologic markers of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation. METHODS: We reviewed 115 charts of patients with 1°SS and further analyzed the 73 cases that fulfilled the European Epidemiology Center Criteria, seeking evidence for clinical and subclinical liver disease. RESULTS: Liver function tests had been determined in 59 of the 73 patients. Of those, 29 patients (49.1%) had abnormal liver function tests including 20.3% with clinically overt hepatic disease. Liver disease was the most common non-exocrine feature in this cohort. Risk factors for abnormal liver function tests were distributed similarly between the patients with and without liver disease. In 60% of patients with abnormal liver function tests no explanation for this complication was found except for 1°SS. Liver involvement was significantly more common in 1°SS patients who also had evidence of lung, kidney and hematological abnormalities. Patients with abnormal liver function tests were also more likely to have an elevated sedimentation rate and a positive anti-ENA during the course of their disease. CONCLUSION: Liver involvement is a common complication in 1°SS. Its presence correlates with systemic disease. We consider that this complication should be routinely sought in patients with 1°SS, especially when a positive anti-ENA or evidence of systemic inflammation is found

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1471-230X-2-21
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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