Purpose: Relapsing polychondritis is a generalized recurring disease of cartilage that involves joints, trachea, bronchi, laryngeal cartilages, costal cartilages, and cartilages of the ear and nose. It is associated with autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto disease in some cases.
Methods: The authors evaluated a 29-year-old man with relapsing polychondritis who had symptoms and signs of a common cold for 2 months and anterior chest pain near the sternum for 1 month.
Results: After the diagnosis, the authors found that the patient had a history of thyroid therapy for hyperthyroidism 15 years before. Tc-99m MDP bone scintigraphy performed to evaluate anterior chest pain showed diffusely increased accumulation of radioactivity in all costocartilages and sternoclavicular joints. Based on that information, relapsing polychondritis was diagnosed. Ga-67 citrate scintigraphy was preformed to determine the optimum biopsy site of the cartilage. The diagnosis was histologically supported by the results of the open biopsy.
Conclusions: In this case, Tc-99m MDP bone scintigraphy was useful for diagnosing relapsing polychondritis, and Ga-67 citrate scintigraphy was helpful in determining the biopsy site.