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Patients With Sjogren’s Syndrome May Also Have IC, Researchers Say

Ueda Y, Tomoe H, Takahashi H, Takahashi Y, Yamashita H, Kaneko H, Kano T, Mimori A. Interstitial cystitis associated with primary Sjögren’s syndrome successfully treated with a combination of tacrolimus and corticosteroid: A case report and literature review. Mod Rheumatol. 2016;26(3):445-9. doi: 10.3109/14397595.2014.895283. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

Dry eyes and dry mouth are two common symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune system disorder that is often found in patients with other such disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Now, reports are slowly emerging that suggest doctors might need to be on the lookout for bladder symptoms, which might point to a case of interstitial cystitis (IC). In this report, the authors describe one female patient who developed IC about 23 years after first receiving a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome. The treatment post-IC diagnosis was an immunosuppressive therapy: tacrolimus and prednisolone, a treatment similar to what she had received previously for her autoimmune disorder. The treatment helped alleviate IC symptoms, according to the authors. Exactly why Sjogren’s patients might develop IC is unknown, but there are several other observational studies suggesting a potential link between the two syndromes. In any case, they said, physicians should be on the lookout for IC in their patients with Sjogren’s who have unexplained lower urinary tract symptoms–and if they do find it, consider a treatment with an immunosuppressant.