What is the role of lab tests in the workup of pediatric mixed connective-tissue disorder (MCTD)?

Updated: Oct 24, 2018
  • Author: Marisa S Klein-Gitelman, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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See the list below:

  • The initial laboratory evaluation of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) should include the following:

    • CBC count with platelets and reticulocyte count: Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia are common findings. If the patient has a combination of these findings, carefully consider the possibility of leukemia.

    • Complete chemistry panel to evaluate electrolytes, liver, and kidney function

      • Unsuspected autoimmune hepatitis may be found based on elevated liver function test (LFT) results.

      • Patients with nephritis may have elevated creatinine and abnormal electrolyte levels.

      • Patients with nephrosis may have low albumin and high cholesterol levels.

    • Urine analysis

      • Patients with mixed connective tissue disease and nephritis may have protein, RBCs, WBCs, or casts on evaluation of urine.

      • Patients with nephrotic syndrome have high urinary protein levels.

    • Muscle enzymes: Myositis may be found by measurement of creatine kinase, aldolase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and lactic dehydrogenase levels.

    • Acute phase reactants: Measure acute phase reactants with erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein.

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