Relapsing polychondritis - Case series from South India

Rajiv Ananthakrishna, Ruchika Goel, Prasanta Padhan, John Mathew, Debashish Danda

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Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare recurring inflammatory disorder with variable clinical course. It has been described mainly in Caucasian population. Reports from other ethnic groups are few. We report seven cases of relapsing polychondritis in south Indian population. In between 1995 and 2008, seven patients fulfilling the McAdam-Damiani-Levine criteria for diagnosis of relapsing polychondritis were identified. Records pertaining to these patients were studied and clinical presentation, course, and treatment offered were analyzed retrospectively. The female-to-male ratio in our series was 2.5:1. The age of onset of symptoms ranged from 28 to 54 years, with a mean of 40.2 years. An average of 20 months, ranging from 3 months to 6 years, elapsed before the patient presented to us seeking a diagnosis. Various structural involvement in our series were as follows: pinna in four (57%), nasal cartilage in five (71%), joints in three (43%), eyes in three (43%), laryngotracheal tree in three (43%), inner ear in one (14.3%), skin in one (14.3%), and heart in one (14.3%). Associated autoimmune diseases were present in four (57%) patients in the form of one of the following in each: vasculitis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis. All seven patients received prednisolone with three of them requiring additional immunosuppressants. There was no mortality amongst the four patients who had remained on follow-up at the time of this report. Although RP is an uncommon disorder, clinicians should be aware of the manifestations so as to initiate prompt treatment and prevent complications. Our series reports less frequent auricular cartilage and skin involvement and an exceptional case of basal cell carcinoma, although the other manifestations were similar to that seen in Caucasian and other Asian populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S7-S10
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2009


  • Aural chondritis
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Clinical features
  • Relapsing polychondritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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