Connective tissue diseases

Many of the major rheumatologic disorders are autoimmune in nature. Connective tissue diseases represent classic models of systemic autoimmune diseases.

In 1942, Paul Klemperer described similarities between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and scleroderma, and postulated that these diseases, which he called diffuse collagen diseases, share a similar aetiology. In 1952, they were termed connective tissue diseases. Sjögren's syndrome and poly-/dermatomyositis were subsequently added to this group.