What is mixed connective-tissue disorder (MCTD)?

Updated: Oct 01, 2018
  • Author: Eric L Greidinger, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Mixed connective-tissue disease (MCTD) was first recognized by Sharp and colleagues (1972) in a group of patients with overlapping clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, and myositis, with the presence of a distinctive antibody against what now is known to be U1-ribonucleoprotein (RNP). [1, 2]

MCTD has since been more completely characterized and is now recognized to consist of the following core clinical and laboratory features [3, 4] :

Nevertheless, whether MCTD is a distinct disease entity has been in question since shortly after its original description. A minority of authors continue to suggest that MCTD represents subgroups or early stages of disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or systemic sclerosis, or an overlap syndrome. [6] Ciang and colleagues propose that MCTD would more accurately be termed undifferentiated autoimmune rheumatic disease. [7]


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