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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Dec;21(6):1037-49.

Mixed connective tissue disease: what is behind the curtain?

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Center Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Germany.


Although there is still an emotional debate over the existence of mixed connective tissue disease, the evidence from animal models suggests that anti-U1RNP antibodies, similar to other autoantibodies in other connective tissue diseases (such as antisynthetase, anticentromere, and antitopoisomerase), play a pathophysiological role in this disease. Despite an antiendothelial effect of anti-U1RNP antibodies, which is reminiscent of anticentromere antibodies, patients with high-titer autoantibodies to U1RNP in the absence of anti-Sm antibodies do not usually have or develop typical systemic sclerosis. Instead, their severe Raynaud's syndrome is commonly accompanied by arthritis, which can be erosive, and by swollen/puffy hands and myositis. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is the major life-threatening complication in these patients and regular screening for this condition is essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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