Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)

What is it?

This disease is characterized by a combination of several autoimmune diseases, such as systematic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A high antibody titer (> 1:1000) to the ribonucleoprotein antigen (anti-RNP) is characteristic.

Causes and risk factors

The disease can occur at any age, but is more common in young people. Patients are predominantly female (80%).

Which are the symptoms?

This disease is characterized by:

  • the Raynaud’s phenomenon;
  • non-erosive polyarthritis;
  • swelling in the hands with “sausage-like” finger disfiguration;
  • asthenia.

In about 70% of cases, there is a disorder of the motility of the esophagus.

Myalgia often occurs, in many cases showing the characteristics of polymyositis. However, less often, mitral valve prolapse, and myocarditis may appear. Kidney damage is much less common than in systemic lupus erythematosus.

How is it diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, it is important to identify a high titer of antibodies to the ribonucleoprotein. Other characteristic tests:

  • high titer of antinuclear antibodies (ANA);
  • rheumatoid factor positivity (approximately in 50% of cases);
  • increased ESR;
  • hypergammaglobulinemia.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

Therapy for mild forms of the disease includes anti-inflammatory drugs, hydroxychloroquine, and / or low-dose cortisone.

In more severe forms of the disease, cortisone is used in higher doses, as well as other immunosuppressants.

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.