Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Collagen Vascular Disease
Collagen vascular diseases are autoimmune conditions, which means the immune system accidentally attacks healthy tissue and causes inflammation. The actual cause of autoimmune diseases isn’t known, but we do know that they tend to run in families. Symptoms of many autoimmune diseases worsen during flare-ups that are often caused by stress or other illness.
Diagnosing collagen vascular diseases
Diagnosing collagen vascular diseases begins with a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms. Your physician will examine the changes in your skin and inspect limbs and joints to determine the extent of the disease. Other tests may include:
- Blood tests: Your blood sample will be analyzed for hormone levels and the presence of other diseases that may lead to infertility.
- Urinalysis: Your urine will be checked for the presence of infection, blood or increased protein.
- X-ray: Traditional X-ray images can identify changes in your joints.
- Echocardiogram: A non-invasive echocardiogram (ECHO) uses high-frequency sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart chambers, heart valves and major blood vessels located near the heart.
- CT scan: This test uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the organs that may be affected by your condition.
- Biopsy: A small sample of tissue may be taken and analyzed under a microscope to determine the extent of any organ involvement.