The role of minor salivary glands’ biopsy in the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome and other systemic diseases

Published:August 09, 2021DOI:


      • Minor salivary gland biopsy is a minimally invasive and safe diagnostic procedure.
      • It is mainly used for the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome.
      • Sjögren's syndrome has an important morbility and potencial for serious complications.
      • Minor salivary gland biopsy allows to identify presence of lymphocytic sialadenitis.
      • Histological confirmation increase the possibility of Sjögren's syndrome diagnosis.



      The minor salivary glands’ biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure used for the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome. Its significance has also been reported in other inflammatory/infiltrative diseases. The objectives are to investigate its use in the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, as well as to evaluate its role in the diagnosis of amyloidosis and sarcoidosis.


      A retrospective analysis was carried out on patients who underwent minor salivary glands’ biopsies between April of 2014 and December of 2017.


      A total of 173 patients were identified. Of the patients with suspected Sjögren's syndrome, in 40% of the cases there was evidence of lymphocytic sialadenitis. The antibodies against SSA, antinuclear antibodies and the Rheumatoid Factor correlated significantly with the presence of lymphocytic sialadenitis. The result of the minor salivary glands’ biopsies allowed an increase of 12.4% of patients who met the criteria defined by the American – European Consensus Group. Of the patients with suspected amyloidosis (25%), the biopsies were positive in 4 patients.


      The minor salivary glands’ biopsy is a simple procedure with effectiveness in the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome and amyloidosis. In this study, its use increased the number of patients who met the Sjögren's syndrome classification criteria. It also appears to be useful in the diagnosis of amyloidosis.


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