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Does mixed connective tissue disease exist? Yes.

Authors
  • Aringer, Martin1
  • Steiner, Günter
  • Smolen, Josef S
  • 1 Department of Rheumatology, Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, AKH, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. , (Austria)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2005
Volume
31
Issue
3
Identifiers
PMID: 16084315
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

For patients who have combined features of rheumatoid arthritis, the limited cutaneous form of systemic sclerosis, and inflammatory myopathies, the concept of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) often helps to predict and diagnose organ problems and to educate the patient accordingly. With high titer IgG antibodies to U1 ribonucleoprotein (U1-snRNP), this concept is supported by a specific serologic marker, and autoantibodies to U1-snRNP and to heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP)-A2 display MCTD specificity with regard to the recognized epitopes. In addition, the association of MCTD with HLA-DR4 distinguishes it from systemic erythematosus lupus and systemic sclerosis, and speaks to its being a disease entity, rather than a mixture of yet undifferentiated collagen vascular diseases. The authors believe that the concept is useful in daily practice and accurate in the idea that MCTD constitutes a disease entity of its own.

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