Dr. Baer advised the audience that a diagnosis of Sjögren’s is tenable if two of the following three features are present:
- Objective evidence of dry eyes and/or dry mouth;
- Evidence of systemic autoimmunity; and/or
- Characteristic salivary gland histopathology or imaging abnormalities.
He cautioned, however, that clinicians should also be sure to exclude mimics and confounders, such as an adverse effect from multiple medications, anticholinergic effects from medications and other diseases that can affect salivary glands (e.g., sarcoidosis, IgG4-related disease, graft vs. host disease).
Dr. Baer concluded his presentation by stating that an accurate diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome is essential for the successful management of the patient. A diagnosis requires multiple tests that must be performed according to published protocols. Dr. Baer also noted that because existing diagnostic tests are imperfect, their results require careful interpretation. Both diagnosis and management require multidisciplinary collaboration.