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What Happens to Patients With Relapsing Polychondritis?

Patients with RP may experience some of the problems below:

Inflammation of cartilage:

  • The ears and/or the nose may become swollen, red, warm and tender. The throat may become tender or the voice hoarse.

Destruction and thickening of cartilage:

  • Collapse or thickening of the outer ears.
  • Collapse of the bridge of the nose referred to as a saddlenose.
  • Difficulty breathing due to thickening or the collapse of the trachea.

Arthritis:

  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • Rib pain (costochondritis)

Hearing and Balance Problems Eye inflammation:

  • Red, painful and swollen eyes due to one of the following uveitis, iritis, scleritis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis.

Vasculitis:

  • Involvement with large vessels particularly the ascending aorta.
  • Rashes or organ specific problems.

Renal Involvement:

  • Glomerulonephritis

Other

  • Many other problems have been described in patients with RP.
  • 30% of patients may suffer from another autoimmune disease.