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Collagen vascular disease

Definition

Collagen vascular disease occurs when problems with the immune system affect collagen.

Collagen is a tough, fiber-like protein that makes up 30% of body protein. It contributes to the structure of tendons, bones, and connective tissues.

In a class of diseases known as autoimmune disorders, the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. Some of these diseases have similarities, including arthritis and inflammation of arteries in the tissues that connect joints and other tissues. These diseases are known as collagen vascular diseases.

Collagen vascular diseases include:

Symptoms

Symptoms of collagen vascular disease vary from disease to disease, but may include:

  • Back pain
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fever
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Rashes

Review Date: 2/9/2011
Reviewed By: Michael E. Makover, MD, professor and attending in Rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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