Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon episodic systemic disease characterized by recurrent inflammation and destruction of cartilaginous tissues.
- The diagnosis requires three of the following: recurrent auricular, nasal, tracheolaryngeal chondritis, nonerosive inflammatory polyarthritis, cochlear and/or vestibular damage, and inflammatory eye disease.
- Auricular chondritis can be separated from cellulitis because it does not affect the earlobe.
- Many diseases, especially vasculitis and myelodysplasia, are associated with relapsing polychondritis.
- Corticosteroids are the mainstay of therapy but additional immunosuppressives may be helpful.