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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Vescovi P., Manfredi M., Cimarosti S.
Sjögren' Syndrome (SS), also named Sicca Syndrome, is a complex disease, characterized by a series of clinical symptoms and signs chiefly represented by xerostomia, xerophthalmia and connectival diseases. The pathogenetic mechanisms consist of an autoimmune process leading to salivary and lacrimal glands progressive destruction. There is a primary form with salivary and lacrimal glands compromission only and a second form in which xerostomia and/or xerophthalmia are associated with connectival diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. The diagnosis of SS is rather difficult and it is based on various world-wide established and accepted criteria: the labial minor salivary glands biopsy and the research of specific seric autoantibodies are the basic elements. From the therapeutic point of view, various types of immunomodulant treatments based on cyclosporine, corticosteroids, methotrexate or alpha-interferon have been proposed with different results. Cholinergic drugs, like pilocarpine and cevimeline, are also used in order to stimulate the gland functionality.