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Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

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Dominique Lewis
Anatomy & Physiology I | BIO1011 15
South University

Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
What’s considered to be an autoimmune disorder, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) is one of the most puzzling diseases due to its overlapping characteristics. These overlapping characteristics include the diseases systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis, and polymyositis ( Though the disease is somewhat unknown and presumably hereditary, the uncovered cause and criteria for diagnosis is linked through like antibodies and antigens ( MCTD affects numerous body systems i.e. skeletal, muscular, skeletal, digestive, and nervous ( Treatment for this disease is patient specific depending on the severity of each case; while the medications prescribed are ailment specific, creating a huge risk of developing side effects due to contraindications and normal use. In diagnosing these side effects, one must first explore the history of MCTD.
What is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)? In 1972 (Venables) Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) was first recognized for its overlapping features by its like or “mixed” similarities noticed in patients presenting with signs and symptoms of three autoimmune connective tissue diseases. The like featured diseases that make up Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) are systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (an autoimmune disease where healthy tissue is mistakenly attacked by the body’s immune system), systemic sclerosis (characterized as both an autoimmune and connective tissue disease that primarily thickens the skin through a buildup of collagen while injuring the bodies smallest arteries) , and polymyositis (an inflammatory disease of skeletal muscle and, rarely cardiac muscle).
What are the causes of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?

The causes of MCTD are not known. It is not directly inherited, although some research shows that the disease may occur more often in people with a family history of connective tissue disease. Exposure to certain viruses or chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride and silica are other possible causes.


References Venables, P. (2006). Mixed connective tissue disease. Lupus, 15(3), 132-7. doi:
Last Name, F. M. (Year). Book Title. City Name: Publisher Name.

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