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Following leads: connecting dysphagia to mixed connective tissue disease
  1. Rita de Sousa Gameiro,
  2. Ana Isabel Alves Reis,
  3. Ana Cristina Grilo,
  4. Carla Noronha
  1. Medicina Interna, Hospital Beatriz Ângelo, Loures, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Rita de Sousa Gameiro, rsousagameiro{at}


Mixed connective tissue disease (MCDT) is a rare condition characterised by the presence of high titres of anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies and selected clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and polymyositis/dermatomyositis. Early symptoms are non-specific, including easy fatigability, myalgia, arthralgia and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Some reports emphasised the favourable outcome and excellent response to glucocorticoids, but there are contradictory studies reporting worse prognosis. Also, a subset of patients evolve into a clinical picture more consistent with a major diffuse connective tissue disease. We present the case of a 50-year-old black woman whose inaugural presentation of MCDT was oropharyngeal dysphagia, symmetrical proximal muscle weakness, tongue atrophy and skin sclerosis. High-dose corticosteroids and methotrexate were given with little improvement, maintaining disabling dysphagia leading to a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement. She was then started on intravenous immunoglobulin with progressive remission of symptoms.

  • connective tissue disease
  • oesophagus
  • medical management
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  • Contributors RdSG was involved in conception and design, drafting, editing and final approval of the submitted version. She also collected all data regarding the clinical case and interpreted them. AIAR was involved in conception and design, editing, revising and final approval of the submitted version. ACG was involved in editing, revising and final approval of the submitted version. CN was involved in editing, revising and final approval of the submitted version.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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