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Aseptic Meningitis in Relapsing Polychondritis: A Case Report & Literature Review

Aseptic meningitis is an extremely rare neurologic complication of relapsing polychondritis (RP). We reported a case of a 58-year-old Chinese female with intractable headache, puffy ears, pleocytosis, and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showing thickened and enhanced meninges. She was finally diagnosed of aseptic meningitis due to RP after full exclusion of infectious causes. She gradually developed neurosensory hearing loss, vertigo, and saddle nose while glucocortico steroid therapy and combined cyclophosphamide could not control her headache. Ultimately, cyclosporin A was tried showing a good response. Only 18 previous cases were found in the literature and the clinical manifestation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) characteristics, imaging features, and therapy considerations of RP-related aseptic meningitis were summarized by reviewing the literature. Aseptic meningitis due to RP is a rare condition of undetermined pathoetiology. Its diagnosis is primarily based on clinical manifestations combined with CSF and MRI examinations plus adequate exclusion of possible infections. Corticosteroid is the basic therapy but choice of protocol should be individualized.

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