New 2016 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for primary Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) have been developed and endorsed by the ACR. The newly proposed criteria include simple-to-perform items.
Two important points of the new criteria should be considered. Firstly, they indicate that either salivary gland biopsy or anti-Ro must be positive in order to corroborate the inflammatory and autoimmune nature of the disease. Secondly, the criteria recognize the systemic nature of SS, namely that patients without salivary or ocular glandular symptoms, but with extraglandular manifestations and B cell activation markers were also included in the SS classification. Additionally, the new criteria modified some technical points. The ocular staining score threshold was increased to 5 due to the higher specificity. The immunological profile includes only anti-Ro antibodies, while positivity for antinuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factor or isolated anti-La was excluded due to a lack of specificity.
The 2016 ACR/EULAR criteria are suitable for early identification of SS, providing patients with the opportunity of enrollment in clinical trials for new specific treatment. Although validation has been successful, the real life application of these criteria will test their performance.