Relapsing polychondritis

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Alatas F., Ozkan R., Metintas M., Moral H., Erginel S., Ucgun I.

RESPIROLOGY, vol.8, no.1, pp.99-103, 2003 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1046/j.1440-1843.2003.00428.x
  • Journal Name: RESPIROLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-103


Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare, inflammatory disease with multisystem involvement and it should be considered in the aetiology of sudden respiratory distress. A 49-year-old woman was admitted to the emergency service of Osmangazi Hospital in acute respiratory distress. She had a tracheostomy following a diagnosis of laryngeal stenosis 10 years earlier. She was managed thereafter at another hospital with a diagnosis of asthma. At admission she was in respiratory distress, had arthralgias, bilateral subconjunctival hyperaemia, periorbital oedema and skin lesions. A thoracic CT showed tracheal wall thickening. Calcification of the auricular regions were noted bilaterally. Bronchi, conjunctiva and skin lesions were biopsied with a provisional diagnosis of RP The diagnosis of RP in this patient was based on clinical, pathological and radiological findings. Steroid therapy was begun and she was referred to a surgical centre for stenting. This case report emphasizes the need to consider the possibility of RP as a cause of sudden respiratory distress.