Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is one of the most common autoimmune rheumatic diseases, clinically characterized by xerostomia and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. We investigated the following controversial topics: (i) Do we have reliable ways of assessing saliva production? (ii) How important are the quantity and quality of saliva? (iii) Are only anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La relevant for the diagnosis of SjS? (iv) Are the American-European Consensus criteria (AECC) the best way to diagnose SjS? Results from literature searches suggested the following: (i) Despite the fact that numerous tests are available to assess salivation rates, direct comparisons among them are scarce with little evidence to suggest one best test. (ii) Recent developments highlight the importance of investigating the composition of saliva. However, more research is needed to standardize the methods of analysis and collection and refine the quality of the accumulating data. (iii) In addition to anti-Ro/La autoantibodies, anti α-fodrin IgA and anti-MR3 autoantibodies seem to be promising diagnostic markers of SjS, but more studies are warranted to test their sensitivity and specificity. (iv) AECC are classification, not diagnostic criteria. Moreover, recent innovations have not been incorporated into these criteria. Consequently, treatment directed to patients diagnosed using the AECC might exclude a significant proportion of patients with SjS.
- American-European Consensus criteria
- Sjögren's syndrome