Undifferentiated Connective-Tissue Disease Treatment & Management

Updated: Jan 24, 2018
  • Author: Bernard Hildebrand, MD, MA; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Treatment

Approach Considerations

A patient with undifferentiated connective-tissue disease (UCTD) can be evaluated and treated primarily as an outpatient. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarials (eg, hydroxychloroquine), and corticosteroids are the mainstay of therapy. Immunosuppressive drugs are generally reserved for treating specific clinical manifestations and when there is major organ involvement.

Surgery for patients with UCTD is not routinely necessary and should be initiated only when indicated for diagnosis or treatment.

 

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Consultations

See the list below:

  • A rheumatologist should be consulted.

  • Consultations with other specialists may be clinically indicated, including with a dermatologist, ophthalmologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist, neurologist, physical medicine specialist, physical therapist, and/or occupational therapist.

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Activity

See the list below:

  • In general, activities are not restricted in the absence of specific functional limitations associated with UCTD.

  • Patients with photosensitivity should minimize prolonged exposure to sunlight and should use protective clothing and sunblock lotions/creams to protect against ultraviolet light.

  • Patients with severe Raynaud phenomenon should avoid prolonged exposure to severe cold temperatures (<40° F) to avoid digital vasospasm. Layered clothing, hats, and gloves help to maintain a warm core body temperature and decreased vasospastic symptoms. Tobacco use should be avoided.

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