More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Patients With Primary Progressive MS Should Be Screened for Sjögren Syndrome

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 02 - Sjögren syndrome is much more common in patients with primary progressive MS than in the general population, according to investigators in France, who therefore recommend that these MS patients be screened for Sjögren syndrome.

Previous studies, which have investigated the relationship between Sjögren syndrome and primary progressive MS, have yielded conflicting results. However, many of these studies did not employ the revised European criteria for Sjögren syndrome, which are now recognized as sensitive and specific.

In a study reported in the October 23rd issue of Neurology, Dr. J. de Seze, from Hôpital R. Salengro in Lille, and colleagues used the revised criteria to assess the prevalence of Sjögren syndrome in 60 consecutive patients with primary progressive MS.

The patients were asked about the presence of xerophthalmia and xerostomia. Minor salivary gland biopsy, a Shirmer test, and salivary gland scintigraphy were performed and anti-Ro and anti-La serologies were measured.

Ten patients met four or more criteria suggestive of Sjögren syndrome, the researchers report. A 16.6% prevalence was identified in this primary progressive MS patient group, which is much higher than the 1% to 5% prevalence typically reported in the general population.

"We suggest that screening for Sjögren syndrome should be considered in all patients presenting with primary progressive MS," the authors conclude.

In a related editorial, Dr. Gavin Giovannoni, from the Institute of Neurology in London, and Dr. John Thorpe, from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, comment that the current findings "demonstrate the need to validate the proposed diagnostic criteria for primary progressive MS and to carefully exclude Sjögren syndrome before making a diagnosis of primary progressive MS."

Neurology 2001;57:1359-1363.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd