Q. Is there any difference between Sjogren's syndrome and SLE?

Answered by
Dr. Lohit Chauhan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 19, 2019

Hi doctor,

I have got a form of lupus called Sjogren's syndrome but I want to know if it is the same as SLE lupus or not as some hospitals say it is and some say it is not and I am very confused.



Welcome to

Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and SLE are two different forms of autoimmune inflammatory disorders which affect the joints, skin, glandular tissue. There are certain similarities between the two but generally, Sjogren's is characterized by decreased secretions from the lacrimal gland (tear producing) and salivary glands. Because of these, the patient has a gritty feeling in the eyes most of the day and difficulty in chewing and deglutition of food. Other than glands, there is some extraglandular manifestation of SS which are similar to SLE in many forms.

Sjogren's when present alone is called primary Sjogren's. There is a term used for Sjogren's occurring along with either rheumatoid arthritis or SLE, which is known as secondary Sjogren's.

Coming on to SLE, which is systemic lupus erythematosus. Going by the name it can involve any organ system in the body. Unlike SS, which majorly involves glands, SLE is potentially more dangerous than SS due to renal, hematological and CNS involvement. The renal, CNS and other systems are less frequently involved in SS.

Both SLE and SS are a type to autoimmune inflammatory diseases in which anti-nuclear antibodies are formed in the body, the antibodies for SS and SLE. SS has anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies, while the SLE has a long list of antibodies like anti-dsDNA, anti-smith, antiphospholipid antibodies, etc., are present. One thing to note here is anti-Ro and anti-La are specific to SS but can also be seen in SLE.

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