Relapsing Polychondritis: Reversible Airway Obstruction Is Not Always Asthma

Michael J. Segel, Simon Godfrey, Neville Berkman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare disease characterized by recurrent inflammation of cartilaginous and other proteoglycan-rich tissues. Respiratory tract involvement is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in RP. We describe a patient whose clinical features at onset of disease were typical of asthma. Later, the patient developed symptoms and signs characteristic of RP. Tracheobronchomalacia necessitated airway support by stenting. The possibility that airway obstruction in the initial stages of RP is due to airway inflammation and that early, aggressive immunosuppressive treatment of RP may delay or prevent irreversible cartilaginous destruction and airway collapse are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)407-409
Number of pages3
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


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