HomePhilippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeryvol. 31 no. 2 (2016)

Relapsing Polychondritis Initially Presenting with Hoarseness and Difculty Breathing in a 21-Year-Old Male

Paula Francezca Padua | William S. Lim



Objective: To present a case of relapsing polychondritis initially presenting with hoarseness and difculty breathing and to discuss the diagnostic criteria and typical CT scan fndings of relapsing polychondritis.


Design: Case Report

Setting: Tertiary Private Hospital in Metro Manila

Patient: One

Result: A 21-year-old man who was initially managed as a case of bronchial asthma for persistent hoarseness and recurrent difculty breathing was found to have severe laryngeal edema on endoscopy, and soft tissue expansion of the cricoid cartilage with calcifcations and irregular frst tracheal ring on CT scan. He also had recurrent eye redness and developed bilateral aural inflammation, and was subsequently diagnosed to have relapsing polychondritis.

Conclusion: Relapsing polychondritis is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by recurrent inflammation and eventual destruction of cartilage throughout the body. Typical manifestations may not always be present, causing a delay in diagnosis. It should be considered in patients with intractable respiratory symptoms not responsive to treatment for upper respiratory tract infections or asthma. A CT scan may reveal signs of cartilage destruction and help in diagnosis