What should be included in the ophthalmologic exam for suspected Sjögren syndrome?

Updated: Mar 05, 2021
  • Author: Sriya K Ranatunga, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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While it is important to look for corneal lesions and a decreased tear pool in the lower conjunctiva during physical examination, patients with Sjögren syndrome should be referred to an ophthalmologist for more formal testing of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This testing applies grading criteria of inflammatory changes that can direct therapy aimed at preventing corneal damage. [51] In addition, conditions that mimic KCS, such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and uveitis can be ruled out or treated.

Patients with Sjögren syndrome may have dilated conjunctival vessels, as well as pericorneal injection and dullness or irregularity of the corneal image. Blepharitis may be present as an alternate or additional problem, particularly if the lower eyelid is inflamed.

Mucinous threads and filamentary keratosis can be detected during a slit-lamp examination. The relative lack of the aqueous layer also leads to rapid tear breakup.

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