Mixed Connective-Tissue Disease Treatment & Management

Updated: Sep 29, 2017
  • Author: Eric L Greidinger, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Treatment

Approach Considerations

The overall goal of therapy in mixed connective-tissue disease (MCTD) is to control symptoms and to maintain function. Target medical therapy to specific organ involvement and extent of disease activity (see Medication). Monitoring for development of complications, such as pulmonary hypertension or infection, is important (see Follow-up).

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Consultations

Whenever possible, a rheumatologist experienced in diagnosis and treatment of the disease should co-manage all patients with mixed connective-tissue disease (MCTD). Consultation with other specialists or subspecialists may be indicated for the evaluation and/or treatment of specific aspects of disease, such as pulmonary hypertension.

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Diet and Activity

Patients with hypertension, esophageal reflux, malabsorption, or other sclerodermatous-type bowel involvement may need special consideration.

Because atherosclerotic heart disease remains a major risk in all patients, advocate a heart-healthy diet. However, no specific dietary manipulations have been demonstrated to be effective in treating MCTD.

Convincing data support the value of an active lifestyle and an exercise program tailored to the needs of patients with arthritis of various types. This approach also appears to be appropriate in MCTD.

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