Pediatric mixed connective tissue disease versus other overlap syndromes: a retrospective multicenter cohort study

BATU AKAL E. D., Günalp A., Şahin S., Özdel S., Kızıldağ Z., PAÇ KISAARSLAN A., ...More

Rheumatology International, vol.43, no.8, pp.1485-1495, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-023-05300-x
  • Journal Name: Rheumatology International
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1485-1495
  • Keywords: Adolescent, Autoimmune diseases, Child, Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Pediatric mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a subgroup of overlap syndromes. We aimed to compare the characteristics and outcomes in children with MCTD and other overlap syndromes. All MCTD patients met either Kasukawa or Alarcon-Segovia and Villareal criteria. The patients with other overlap syndromes had the features of ≥ 2 autoimmune rheumatic diseases but did not meet MCTD diagnostic criteria. Thirty MCTD (F/M = 28/2) and thirty (F/M = 29/1) overlap patients were included (disease onset < 18 years). The most prominent phenotype at disease onset and the last visit was systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the MCTD group; juvenile idiopathic arthritis and dermatomyositis/polymyositis, respectively, in the overlap group. At the last visit, systemic sclerosis (SSc) phenotype was more frequent among MCTD than overlap patients (60% vs. 33.3%; p = 0.038). The frequency of the predominant SLE phenotype had decreased (60% to 36.7%), while predominant SSc phenotype had increased (13.3% to 33.3%) during follow-up in MCTD patients. Weight loss (36.7% vs. 13.3%), digital ulcers (20% vs. 0), swollen hands (60% vs. 20%), Raynaud phenomenon (86.7% vs. 46.7%), hematologic involvement (70% vs. 26.7%), and anti-Sm positivity (29% vs. 3.3%) were more common, while Gottron papules (16.7% vs. 40%) were less frequent among MCTD than overlap patients (p < 0.05). A higher percentage of overlap patients achieved complete remission than MCTD patients (51.7% vs. 24.1%; p = 0.047). The disease phenotype and outcome differ between pediatric MCTD and other overlap syndromes where MCTD may be regarded as a more severe disease. Analyzing these patients could pave the way for early and effective treatment.