a group of generalized diseases affecting connective tissue and frequently characterized by fibrinoid necrosis or vasculitis; in some collagen diseases, auto-immunization, particularly antinuclear antibodies, has been shown and circulating immune complexes are found. The term is not entirely acceptable because there is no evidence that collagen is primarily involved; “collagen” was once synonymous with “connective tissue” rather than describing a specific fibrinous protein in that tissue.
See Also: connective-tissue disease
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