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Connective Tissue Disease (MSK Rheumatology)


Connective Tissue Disease (CTDs) is any disease that targets the connective tissues within the body.

Connective Tissue Disease

Connective Tissue Disease (CTDs) is any disease that targets the connective tissues within the body. There are 2 main types of CTDs:

  • Inherited eg Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, etc.
  • Acquired eg Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis), Sjögren’s, Myositis etc.

There are a number of acquired conditions including Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD), Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) and overlap syndromes

Acquired CTDs can affect many organs within the body, and can present in a variety of different ways. They are characterised by the presence of antinuclear antibodies in blood.

Sometimes, they can present very acutely, and these illnesses can result in significant morbidity and mortality.

The most frequent symptoms are constitutional (fatigue, fever, weight loss), occurring in 90-95%, followed by mucocutaneous (malar rash, alopecia, mucosal ulcers, discoid lesions), occurring in 80-90%



Face: butterfly rash, red patches

Lungs: pleuritis, pneumonitis, pulmonary embolism & haemorrhage

Heart: endocarditis, atherosclerosis, pericarditis

Blood: anaemia, hypertension

Systemic: hair loss, headaches, fever

Musculoskeletal: aches, arthritis, joint swelling

Abdomen: severe abdominal pain

Renal: haematuria



Häggström, Mikael (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008ISSN 2002-4436Public Domain.

Connective Tissue Disorder Clinics at UHCW

Rheumatology is a big provider for the acquired group of CTDs.

Consultants providing CTD clinics:

  • Dr Siwalik Banerjee
  • Dr Ganesh Kasavkar
  • Dr Alec Price-Forbes
  • Dr Tim Blake
  • Dr Gillian Peffers.
  • We also provide Nailfold Capillaroscopy.

Combined clinics

  • Rheumatology – Renal combined clinic (Dr Short)
  • Rheumatology – ILD (chest) combined clinic (Dr D Desai)

Multidisciplinary meetings

Weekly multiprofessional rheumatology meeting, in which complex patients are discussed
Monthly multispecialty MDT (rheumatology, neurology, ENT and ophthalmology), in which complex CTD and vasculitis cases are presented


Lupus UK 
Sjogren’s Society 
Versus Arthritis 


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