connective-tissue disease

n.
  1. Any of a group of noninheritable diseases that affect the connective tissue, such as rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis, and that are characterized by fever, pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.