Cerebral white matter hyperintensities are not increased in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome


Roald Omdal, Professor of Medicine, Clinical Immunology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Stavanger University Hospital, PO Box 8100, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway (tel.: +47 51518000; fax: +47 51519906; e-mail: omro@sus.no, roald.omdal@lyse.net


Background and purpose:  It is frequently thought that cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on T-2 weighted MRI scans are increased in patients with autoimmune diseases. An increased frequency of WHMs has been described in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (PSS), but no controlled studies exist. The aim of this study was therefore to compare WMHs in PSS patients and healthy subjects applying the new European-American criteria for PSS.

Methods:  Cross-sectional controlled study of 68 unselected PSS patients and 68 healthy subjects was carried out. WMHs were rated using Scheltens method.

Results:  There were no differences in total or any regional WMH scores between PSS patients and healthy subjects.

Conclusions:  Patients with PSS do not have increased WMH load or distribution when compared with healthy subjects.