Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/30/2020

Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by certain symptoms shared by lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis or dermatomyositis, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, in MCTD, the symptoms are not as severe or extensive as with a specific one of these disorders.

Signs and symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease can include

Other associated symptoms and signs can include low-grade fever and Raynaud's phenomenon (sensitivity, numbness, and loss of color in the fingers, toes, ears, or nose due to reduced blood flow).

Cause of a mixed connective tissue disease

The cause of MCTD is not clear, and some experts believe it may be an earlier stage of one of these other rheumatic conditions.

Other mixed connective tissue disease symptoms and signs

  • Joint Pain
  • Low-Grade Fever
  • Malaise
  • Muscle Pain
  • Rash
  • Raynaud's Phenomenon
  • Swollen Fingers
  • Swollen Hands


Lupus is an infection. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.