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Collagen vascular disease: Wikis


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(Redirected to Systemic autoimmune diseases article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In autoimmune diseases the immune system attacks many different organs, tissues, and cells of the body. Examples include: systemic lupus erythematosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, and dermatomyositis.

In contrast to systemic autoimmune diseases, organ-specific or tissue-specific autoimmune diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 1, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis affect only one organ or tissue type. For example, diabetes mellitus affects the islet cells in the pancreas, Hashimoto's thyroiditis affects the thyroid gland, multiple sclerosis affects the brain, and myasthemia gravis affects the muscles.

The systemic autoimmune diseases are rheumatological diseases. Rheumatologists specialize in their treatment.


The terms "collagen vascular disease" and "collagen-vascular disease," in use since 1962 (and possibly earlier), are synonyms for systemic autoimmune disease. The term "collagen vascular disease" is a misnomer: these diseases affect many structures in addition to vascular structures, and they affect many molecules in addition to the collagen molecule.

They are also referred to as connective tissue diseases. However, although the systemic autoimmune diseases affect connective tissue, they also affect many other tissue types, including muscle tissue and neural tissue. In addition, many connective tissue diseases (such as scurvy and Marfan syndrome) are not autoimmune in nature.

Systemic lupus erythematosis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause vasculitis (vasculitis means "inflammation of blood vessels"). However, these diseases affect many structures other than blood vessels.


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