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Clinical presentation, course, and prognosis of patients with mixed connective tissue disease: A multicenter retrospective cohort.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to better characterize the features and outcomes of a large population of patients with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).

METHODS: We performed an observational retrospective multicenter cohort study in France. Patients who fulfilled at least one diagnostic criterion set for MCTD and none of the criteria for other differentiated CTD (dCTD) were included.

RESULTS: Three hundred and thirty patients (88% females, median [interquartile range] age of 35 years [26-45]) were included. The diagnostic criteria of Sharp or Kasukawa were met by 97.3% and 93.3% of patients, respectively. None met other classification criteria without fulfilling Sharp or Kasukawa criteria. After a median follow-up of 8 (3-14) years, 149 (45.2%) patients achieved remission, 92 (27.9%) had interstitial lung disease, 25 (7.6%) had pulmonary hypertension, and 18 (5.6%) died. Eighty-five (25.8%) patients progressed to a dCTD, mainly systemic lupus erythematosus (15.8%) or systemic sclerosis (10.6%). Median duration between diagnosis and progression to a dCTD was 5 (2-11) years. The presence at MCTD diagnosis of an abnormal pattern on nailfold capillaroscopy (odds ratio [OR] = 2.44, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] [1.11-5.58]) and parotid swelling (OR = 3.86, 95%CI [1.31-11.4]) were statistically associated with progression to a dCTD. Patients who did not progress to a dCTD were more likely to achieve remission at the last follow-up (51.8% vs. 25.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that MCTD is a distinct entity that can be classified using either Kasukawa or Sharp criteria, and that only 25.8% of patients progress to a dCTD during follow-up.

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