Sjögren graduated in medicine in 1922 from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and in 1925 first saw a patient with what was to become his syndrome. Sjögren accumulated another 4 cases and published a paper on the syndrome in 1930 (in German) under the title of "Keratoconjunctivitis sicca."
Sjögren gave a detailed description of the syndrome in 1933 in his doctoral thesis which was titled (also in German) "Zur Kenntnis der keratoconjunctivitis sicca." However, the thesis was judged not to be sufficient to warrant the title of "docent." Sjögren was thereby denied the opportunity for a career in academic ophthalmology.
In France, the term "Gougerot syndrome" was in use, since he had in 1925 described 3 cases of dry eyes, dry mouth and dry vagina. However, Sjögren's very comprehensive work justifies the standard designation of Sjögren's disease.
Sjögren of Sjögren's syndrome is not to be confused with Karl Gustaf Torsten Sjögren, a psychiatrist, who studied the genetics of mental retardation and described the Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome and Sjögren-Larsson syndrome.