saliva gland biopsy

i was diagnosed with sjogrens about four years ago. i also have hypothyroid pbc and ra. I have seen a few rhuemy doctors who have all agreed through blood tests and schirmer eye test that i do indeed have sjogrens. Now a new doctor has as an after thought decided that i need a saliva gland biopsy. what do you think i should do iam really nervous about this.

16 Replies

  • Hello flora,

    I recommend anybody has a salivary gland biopsy to be ultra sure

    that their diagnosis is definitely Sjogrens.

    It is a little uncomfortable when being done and I am a real whimp when it

    comes to needles etc but once you get the needle inside your lip you don't

    feel anything and it's really only a couple of days and the stitch dissolves.

    The big plus is that this is a definitive test and then you can pursue a plan of

    action from there. It removes any doubt about your condition.

    Good luck.

  • I am much the same. Hyperthyroid until was "killed" with R A I so now on thyroxin. My eyes and mouth and salivary gland all indicated Sjogrens but nothing in the blood tests. Every doc except the immunologist say yes Sjogrens.Have shown cryoglobulin, R.F and some sarcoidosis, hypogammaglobulimea but he still is not convinced.

    I can't remember much about the biopsy but I don't think it was a big deal. good luck

  • Hi were is your sarcoidosis at please


  • I don't think the lip biopsy was called a salivary gland biop by my Doc. it was something else.

  • Hi....My Rheumatologist says that the blood test alone is sufficient to pick up Sjogrens....he did advise me that a Biopsy would be absolute confirmation I have Sjogrens, but wasnt necessary to have this. Why have you been told you need to have this if it has already been confirmed by blood testing though??


  • I was told blood tests may not confirm it. If the anti bodies are there ,yes it does, but many have sjogrens without the antibodies present in the blood.

  • Have you got thick saliva in your mouth? Ask the doctor why he thinks you should have a saliva gland biopsy.

  • Totally unnecessary. They love to do tests. What management will they change if it comes back negative?

  • I was told that the the biopsy is not always definitive.

  • thanks everyone i do not know why he wants this test other than he likes to dot the i and cross the ts, He was running an hour and half late with his clinic because he was taking so long with everyone and sending patients for extra tests. nothing is going to change with the test I am on plaquinil and what a difference that has made to my aches and pains in my joints. When I told him this he said to stop the drug in six months He also questioned why i had never had a liver biopsy to confirm pbc i said it was conclusive with all the blood tests being positive.

  • If your blood work shows sjogrens in my opinion you don't need a lip biopsy, it's pain for something you already know.

  • I couldn't agree more, its all money for these doctors, blood results will be correct enough.

  • A saliva gland biopsy is painless as I've had it myself so don't worry about that. I've had S'S for over 20 years and my biggest problem is a dry mouth and above all SWALLOW ING! All food has ti be bland/mashed. Very frustrating. Good Luck.

  • I was diagnosed with Behcet's Disease some time ago although my first symptoms were dry eyes, dry mouth, nose and skin and arthritis. I was told by my Immunologist after he conducted a Schirmer's Test that the results were intermediate and that I had Sicca symptoms. He never said that I had Sjogren's Syndrome. I now have neurological damage and lesions in my brain due to my disease/s with cognitive impairment and I'm no longer able to work. I also have ulceras in most of my mucous membrane.

    My blood tests are seronegative and rarely ever show inflammatory factors even when I'm in a severe flare which is not helpful in any diagnoses.

    As my Immuno is retiring after my next visit in January, I am going to insist on a salivary gland biopsy (I've had a lip biopsy on an ulcer which was inconclusive) which I understand, will confirm whether I have primary Sjogrens or not.

    If you have definitive results from blood and Schirmer's tests you may not need

    to go ahead with the test just to appease a new doctor. It should be your choice to refuse.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks everyone made up my mind ,not going xx

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