Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Treatment Underlying Cause

Relapsing Polychondritis Overview

What is relapsing polychondritis?
A person with relapsing polychondritis has a rare illness that causes inflammation of the cartilage in the body. Organs that contain cartilage become swollen, including the eyes, heart and blood vessels. The underlying cause for relapsing polychondritis is unknown, but the immune system plays a role. The immune system, which normally fights infection, mistakenly attacks the cartilage throughout the body.

What are the symptoms of relapsing polychondritis?
Symptoms of relapsing polychondritis include pain, redness, and swelling of the ears, nose and joints. Additional symptoms of relapsing polychondritis include back pain, neck pain, hoarse voice, eye pain, blurry vision, and cataracts.

How does the doctor treat relapsing polychondritis?
Treatment for relapsing polychondritis includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and medications that suppress the immune system.

Continue to Relapsing Polychondritis Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Relapsing Polychondritis References
  1. Gergely P Jr, Poor G. Relapsing polychondritis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Oct;18(5):723-38. [15454129]
  2. Kent PD, Michet CJ Jr, Luthra HS. Relapsing polychondritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2004 Jan;16(1):56-61. [14673390]
  3. Rapini RP, Warner NB. Relapsing polychondritis. Clin Dermatol. 2006 Nov-Dec;24(6):482-5. [17113965]
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