November 27, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(9):902. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130220090019

Even those who disapprove of eponyms would concede that in Sjögren's syndrome the eponymous label, which survived more than three decades of medical usage, may be preferable to its alternatives. Sicca syndrome, xerostomia, xerophthalmia, keratoconjunctivitis sicca—none convey the multifaceted systemic character of the disease which they designate. They give no indication of the widespread salivary and lacrimal gland involvement, no inkling of the high incidence (over 50%) of rheumatoid arthritis, no hint of the leukopenia, vasculitis, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, Raynaud's phenomenon, and purpura which may be encountered in this disease. And, of course, they give no intimation of its nature.

The nature of Sjögren's syndrome receives increasing attention with each new-found evidence of immune activity in the serum of its victims. The accumulated evidence is indeed impressive. Rheumatoid factor is found in 75%-97% of all cases, whether they do or do not manifest arthritic symptoms. Antithyroglobulin antibodies occur in 35%, antinuclear