Collagen Vascular Disease: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Alternative Name: Connective Tissue Diseases (CTD).Connective tissue is a major tissue in our body and is responsible for forming the structure of the body parts. It is made up of two proteins collagen and elastin.Collagen: The major protein of the white fibers of cartilage, connective tissue, and bone, that is insoluble in water but can be altered to easily digestible, soluble gelatins by boiling in water, dilute acids, or alkalis. It comprises a family of genetically distinct molecules all of which have a unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits known as chains. At least 13 types of collagen have been identified, each with a different polypeptide chain.Elastin: A yellow elastic fibrous mucoprotein that is the major connective tissue protein of elastic structures (e.g., tendon, large blood vessels, ligaments, etc.). It is responsible for stretching and bouncing back of ligaments as well as skin.Certain immune disorders affect the working of connective tissue and damage collagen and elastin and leads to collagen vascular disease.Collagen vascular diseases include:Rheumatoid arthritis.
A genetic factor, nutritional deficiencies, or problems with your immune system are some of the causes of collagen diseases.Risk Factors include:Marfan syndrome.
Collagen vascular diseases are not contagious; people cannot catch these diseases from one another. Collagen vascular diseases do not have any identified explanations as to the causes of these illnesses but they usually affect more women compared to men.Symptoms:The symptoms associated with collagen vascular disease include:Anemia.
Patients also experience weakness and a rash as a result of blood vessel damage, which is caused by the immune system.
Diagnosis:A complete medical history and a physical examination are the basis for the diagnosis of autoimmune disease.Laboratory Tests:1. Blood tests to check levels of autoantibodies.2. Rheumatoid factor tests.3. Urinalysis.4. Liver and kidney tests.A chest x-ray and other tests of specific lung function also may be done, since collagen vascular disorders occasionally produce breathing difficulties.Treatment: At present, there are no cures for this disease. Treatment depends on the extent of the disease. Doctors may prescribe steroid creams or antiinflammatory medications to ease discomfort.Examples of traditional treatment modalities include corticosteroids, methotrexate, and cyclophosphamide. In advanced cases, immunosuppressant drugs may help lessen the immune system's over-reaction. Immunosuppression is more commonly associated with the drugs used to treat these disorders than with the diseases themselves. The newest agents being used to treat collagen-vascular diseases are the Tumor Necrosis Factor ? (TNF-?) - inhibitors. They are particularly effective in breaking down granulomatous inflammation, which makes them effective treatment for sarcoidosis and Wegener's granulomatosis. The most common infection reported with the TNF-? inhibitors has been tuberculosis.Disclaimer: The following tests, drugs and medications, surgical procedures are in some way related to, or used in the treatment. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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