Connective tissue disease

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Connective tissue disease

(Science: rheumatology) a heterogeneous group of diseases characterised by abnormal structure or function of one or more of the elements of connective tissue, i.e., collagen, elastin, or the mucopolysaccharides.

They include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatic fever, scleroderma and others, that are sometimes referred to as rheumatic diseases.

They do not solely affect connective tissues but they are autoimmune in origin. Rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis were first proposed as such diseases, and other so-called collagen diseases have been added.