Q:How does one determine whether they have primary or secondary Sjogren's?? I also
obtain the anticardiolipin antibodies. It seems that more Lupus patients have
that, than Sjogren's. Is that correct??
A: You need to rule out other major autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus or RA. If such a diagnosis is made then, the Sjs is termed Secondary. If no other major autoimmune process is found, then it is termed Primary. This categorization is not always black and white. For example, many Sjs pts have the autoimmune thyroid disease, Hashimoto's, but in that combo, Sjs is termed Primary. It also does not preclude starting with Primary Sjs, but developing RA later. Clinically, a better way to think about it-is which group of symptoms are the most problematic for you-and that becomes the Primary process. Primary and Secondary Sjogrens are not really different disorders.
Sjs patients can have anti-phospholipid/cardiolipin Abs, but they are much more commonly associated with Lupus (where they were first described).