Relapsing Polychondritis

Rare:  Incidence ~3-4 / million
  • Onset usually 40 – 60 y.o.

Signs / Symptoms

Ear (most common):
  • Recurrent inflammation of external ear (pinna)  [see pix below]
  • Usually spares the ear lobe

Eye:   Episcleritis, Scleritis, Keratitis, Uveitis

Nose: Chronic / recurrent Congestion, Runny Nose, Epistaxis.
  • Eventual destruction of cartilage below bridge the of nose (“Saddle Nose”)
Trachea:  Hoarseness, stridor, non-productive cough, tracheal tenderness
  • Eventual stenosis & airway compromise

Inner Ear:   Hearing loss (sensineural), tinnitus, vertigo

Skin:  Various manifestations, none specific

Lab Tests

None are diagnostic; All may be normal

May find (approx. frequency)
  • ESR elevation (85%)
  • Anemia (50%)
  • Increased WBCs (33%)
  • ANA Positive (20%)
  • Pos. Rheumatoid Factor; Eosinophilia; Pos. RPR (10-15%)

See posting Polyarthralgias.