What are collagen vascular diseases?

Also known as: connective tissue diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, dermatomyositis, psoriatic arthritis, scleroderma, polyarteritis nodosa, systemic lupus erythematosus, Marfan syndrome and others.

Collagen is the main protein in connective tissue. Connective tissue are fibers and cells which hold body parts together and may be rigid (like bone) or compliant like tendons/ligaments or muscles, or in-between like cartilage. When this tissue is abnormal some of diseases that occur involve many organ systems including skeleton, lungs, eyes, heart and blood vessels.

Collagen cushions, protects, supports, and strengthens the body’s tissues and organs. There appear to be at least 200 conditions that fall under the umbrella of collagen vascular disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, among others.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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