An international team of researchers released new classification criteria for the common autoimmune condition Sjogren’s syndrome, according to the National Institutes of Health. Classification criteria are the consensus opinion of a group of experts that researchers use in clinical studies to confirm a previous diagnosis and/or subclassify patients who have the same type of a given condition.
The new guidelines appear in the April issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research.
The classification criteria are the first for Sjogren’s syndrome to be based solely on objective clinical tests. Other criteria historically have permitted various testing subjectivity to enable the classification of this complex syndrome that affects multiple parts of the body, typically the eyes, salivary glands, and joints. The subjectivity has made standardization of clinical trial enrollment difficult, limiting comparability of research data across studies and impeding the needed robust clinical evaluation of possible new treatments.
The new criteria come from the Sjogren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance, or SICCA. The work was supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), with support from the National Eye Institute and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. All are part of the National Institutes of Health.
To read the entire press release from the NIH, visit: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2012/nidcr-11.htm.