Collagen vascular disease occurs when problems with the immune system affect collagen.
Collagen is a tough, fiber-like protein that makes up about a third of body protein. It is part of the structure of tendons, bones, and connective tissues.
In a class of diseases known as autoimmune disorders, the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. Some of these diseases are similar to each other such as arthritis and inflammation of arteries in the tissues that connect joints and other tissues. As a group, these diseases are known as collagen vascular diseases.
Reviewed by: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.