Friday, September 12, 2008

Scleroderma - Sjogren's Connection

Image by barunpatro

This month's issue of the Scleroderma Foundation's e-letter included an article from Reasonably Well. 

You may wonder what connection exists between scleroderma and Sjogren's Syndrome. Scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease, is classified as an autoimmune rheumatic condition, which makes Sjogren's and scleroderma "cousins" in the autoimmune family. A small percentage of scleroderma patients will go on to develop Sjogren's Syndrome. You can find more information about scleroderma on the Scleroderma Foundation's website, found here. 

Sjogren's and scleroderma are both considered immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, as explained in the 2008 Rheumatology Nurses Society conference: 


Many of the diseases that rheumatology nurses encounter in practice involve the immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). Examples include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Scleroderma;
  • Psoriasis;
  • Ankylosing spondylitis;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Crohn's disease;
  • Myositis; and
  • Sjögren's syndrome.

Features of the IMIDs include activation of the inflammatory cascade response, effector cell-mediated damage, and the production of antibodies. Multiple mechanisms contribute to this response, and results vary from an organ-specific destruction to a full systemic cascade. The IMIDs have a shared mechanism of disease, and many medications used to arrest the cascade response in one specific disease condition may be effective in another disease condition. 

We are all part of the autoimmune family. 

No comments: