Primary Sjögren's syndrome associated agranulocytosis: a benign disorder?

To report on an uncommon association of agranulocytosis in primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS).
The clinical, haematological, and immunological features of seven patients with primary SS associated with a chronic (>6 months) agranulocytosis, and the outcome of the patients, were analysed.
Patients were white women with an unexplained agranulocytosis. They all had non-erosive arthritis and three had a thrombocytopenia or Evan's syndrome. In three patients, transient or durable expansion of T lymphocytes was present in the peripheral blood or in the bone marrow, but evolved independently from neutrophil counts. There was no paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria clone or antibodies to neutrophil surface antigens. In vitro bone marrow culture was normal (four patients) or showed a decrease in colony forming unit-granulocyte monocyte (CFU-GM) and colony forming unit-erythroblast (CFU-E) (one patient). Serum levels of soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) were normal, and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) concentrations were either normal or raised. One patient was treated with steroids associated with intravenous immunoglobulins and achieved a lasting response. Two other patients were treated with steroids and methotrexate, with poor efficacy. Short courses of subcutaneous G-CSF produced a transient and mild response in all three patients. Complete recovery of the neutrophils occurred temporarily during pregnancy in two patients. After a mean follow up of 34.8 months (range 6-139) all patients were alive and none developed serious infections.
A subset of patients with primary SS and non-destructive arthritis may develop a chronic but well tolerated agranulocytosis that is usually poorly responsive to steroids and oral methotrexate.
AuthorsP Coppo, J Sibilia, F Maloisel, M-H Schlageter, A-L Voyer, V Gouilleux-Gruart, J Goetz, B Desablens, B Tribout, K Lassoued
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases (Ann Rheum Dis) Vol. 62 Issue 5 Pg. 476-8 (May 2003) ISSN: 0003-4967 [Print] England
PMID12695164 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Steroids
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Methotrexate
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agranulocytosis (complications, drug therapy, immunology)
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear (analysis)
  • Antirheumatic Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Bone Marrow Examination (methods)
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (blood, therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate (therapeutic use)
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia (etiology)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sjogren's Syndrome (complications, drug therapy, immunology)
  • Steroids (administration & dosage)
  • Treatment Outcome

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