The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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SSF (Friday afternoon, 2/3)

Friday's talks opened with Chadwich Johr, rheumatogist at UPenn's Sjogrens Center, who gave the traditional overview of Sjogrens, in anything but a traditional manner. A very polished, entertaining and effective presentation. He started off by pointing out the difficulty of presenting to groups like this because you've got everyone from the newly diagnosed to the hyper-self-educated veterans that endlessly ask impossible questions.

A lot of his talk centered on the process of diagnosing Sjogrens, and breaking down what that looks like to a rheumatologist, all the things they take into account, and how the picture may look very different for each individual. He walked through a chart of 4 items (clinical signs of dry eye, ditto of salivary gland dysfunction, lab testing - SSA+ - and lip biopsy) and talked about how as long as there are any 2 or more of those including proof of autoimmunity, they are diagnosed with Sjogrens. He talked about how diagnosis is never exclusively symptom based and that there are in fact many other things that can cause the same symptoms. 

Dr Johr introduced a couple of Sjogrens scoring systems:

  • 2016 ACR-Eular Sjogrens Classification Critera: Schirmer+ i1 point, staining 1 point, "spit test" 1 point, SSA (Ro)+ 3 points, lip biopsy + 3 points.
  • ESSDAI (Eular Sjogrens Syndrome Disease Activity Index), which breaks systemic features of Sjogrens down by domain. 

Other topics included lymphoma risk factors, neuropathy, and biologic drugs.

Dr Johr fielded many questions afterwards. Both marijuana and diet were brushed aside pretty quickly, but the latter - diet - was picked up again just as quickly afterwards by Steve Taylor, CEO of the Sjogrens Syndrome Foundation, who emphasized how very important they consider diet especially as an area for research in Sjogrens.