UCTD Questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/21/2014 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but wasn't sure where else to go! My rheumatologist seemed on track to diagnose me with Lupus but in my follow up yesterday he diagnosed me with UCTD instead. I can't find too much info on UCTD so I'm a little confused. I've been on Prednisone for a little over a month now and Plaquenil for about 3 weeks and have been responding well but I'm currently in a flare again.

A few days ago I broke out in an itchy, bumpy, red rash on my elbows, backs of my knees, and thighs that seems to be spreading. I showed it to the Rheumatologist yesterday and he looked a little concerned but only said that if it persists or gets worse when I wean off of my prednisone that I'll need to get it biopsied because it will give us more insight into what is actually causing my problems. If this is the case should I just go to the dermatologist and get the biopsy anyway instead of waiting? I'm also having trouble telling what kind of rash this could be and it is making me very worried!

My other symptoms are:
Joint pain
Possible malar rash
ANA 1:620
High CRP

Thanks for your advice!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/21/2014 2:19 PM (GMT -6)   
There are other with UCTD who post here too.
I'm not too familiar with it. I assume it's a combination of two or more autoimmune diseases???
If the rash is worse or bothersome tell the rheumy and get him to do the biopsy.
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 11/22/2014 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
UCTD is undifferentiated connective tissue disease. It is used when your symptoms and labs do not clearly define the autoimmune disease you have. It also means you probably have symptoms of more than one disease, you overlap AI symptoms. Lupus is usually in the mix and often one of the myositis diseases (muscles), or RA, or sjogrens, or scleroderma. That does not mean you will develop symptoms of a whole bunch of diseases but means that you might have an overlap condition.

I have MCTD which is mixed connective tissue disease which is usually symptoms of lupus, polymyositis, and scleroderma. My lupus was severe and poly was extreme. Treatment is pretty much the same as severe lupus....prednisone and some type of chemo like Imuran or methotrexate. There are a number of other drugs that can be used depending on your symptoms and labs (particularly antibodies).

UCTD will often develop over time into a specific diagnosis but not always. AI diseases are unlike anything else particularly when you have an overlap.




Your list of symptoms is pretty typical of lupus but lupus can and usually is a part of uctd. Every case of AI disease is different so it is not like getting chicken pox where the course of the disease is well defined.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 11/22/2014 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
One more thing. Labs do not always confirm AI diseases....at least not in the early stages which for some can last months or even years. Clinical symptoms are important but many of them, like fatigue or joint pain, can be associated with many different diseases and conditions. Doctors diagnose on the sum of your symptoms, labs, and other appropriate tests.

MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 11/22/2014 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dashlink675 and welcome :)

I have UCTD as well and Bsime pretty much summed it up. I see my rheumy at the lupus clinic and am treated basically as though I have lupus but there is an overlap of other AI diseases which makes a slam dunk diagnosis more tricky. Also my labs tend to contradict eachother.

The important thing is treatment and many meds used are the same with varying autoimmune conditions.

Don't be surprised if each visit to your rheumy is like a box of chocolates, I never know from month to month which autoimmune disease she will suspect next. ;)

Every time I see my GP she just calls it lupus. When I saw a new neurologist he just shook his head and called it lupus, same thing the other day as well. I saw a gastrointestinal doc and told him I have UCTD and he shrugged and called it lupus.

I get rashy when I'm flaring. Try to keep the rashy areas cool and moisturized and take extra steps to reduce stress on your body and mind. That will help it to heal faster.

Wishing you some relief soon :)
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