The Penn Sjögren's Syndrome Center, part of Penn Rheumatology, provides a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with Sjögren's syndrome. It is the only major treatment center for Sjögren's within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia, treating patients from across the country and around the world. Services are provided by a network of Penn Medicine specialists who are experts in treating various Sjögren's-related problems
Based at Penn Medicine University City, Penn's Sjögren's Syndrome Center serves as the regional headquarters of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation.
While some patients experience mild discomfort from their symptoms, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their quality of life. Patients may also experience exocrine gland dysfunction in other organs. In about 25 percent of cases, the disease may spread to the internal organs and cause arthritis, fatigue or problems of the lungs, kidneys and central nervous system. In 4-5 percent of cases, Sjogren's may also be complicated by lymphomas.
Sometimes, Sjögren's may present with symptoms other than dry eyes and dry mouth, and in some cases, the symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth may be completely absent.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Rheumatologists at the Penn Sjögren's Syndrome Center collaborate closely with specialists in ophthalmology and oral medicine to provide a complete diagnosis and treatment program for patients suffering from Sjögren's.
If Sjögren's is suspected, a series of blood tests, ophthalmologic tests and dental tests are used to confirm the diagnosis. The course of treatment may include prescription medications, over-the-counter products and non-medical therapy. Treatment includes eye care at the Penn Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Center of the Scheie Eye Institute of the University of Pennsylvania and mouth care from Penn Oral Medicine.
Given the complexity of Sjögren's syndrome, Penn Medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that combines the expertise of Penn specialists who collaborate and determine an individualized treatment plan designed for each patient.