A condition called Raynaud's phenomenon sometimes occurs months or years before other symptoms of MCTD develop. Most people with MCTD have pain in multiple joints, and/or inflammation of joints (arthritis). Muscle weakness, fevers, and fatigue are also common.
Accumulation of fluid in the tissue of the hands that causes puffiness and swelling (edema)
Skin findings including lupus-like rashes (including reddish brown patches), reddish patches over the knuckles, violet coloring of the eyelids, loss of hair (alopecia), and dilation of small blood vessels around the fingernails (periungual telangiectasia)
Neurologic abnormalities (in about 10 percent of people with MCTD) such as organic brain syndrome; blood vessel narrowing causing "vascular" headaches; a mild form of meningitis; seizures; blockage of a cerebral vessel (cerebral thrombosis) or bleeding; and/or various sensory disturbances in multiple areas of the body (multiple peripheral neuropathies)
Lymphadenopathy, enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly), enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly), and/or intestinal involvement in some cases
Last updated: 12/29/2014
What is the long-term outlook for people with mixed connective tissue disease?
In general, the long-term outlook (prognosis) for people with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is favorable, but it mostly depends on the signs and symptoms present in each person.
The overall 10-year survival rate of the disease is about 80%. Some people have symptom-free periods lasting for many years with no treatment. Despite treatment, the disease gets worse in about 13% of people and can cause potentially fatal complications in six to 12 years. The prognosis is worse for people with features of systemic sclerosis and/or polymyositis. Pulmonary hypertension is the most common MCTD-associated cause of death.
Last updated: 12/30/2014
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