Relapsing polychondritis in childhood--case report and short review

Rheumatol Int. 2000;19(6):231-4. doi: 10.1007/s002960000055.


Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a disease of unknown etiology and it is characterized by inflammation of the cartilage. While the clinical picture of RP in adults is well described, RP in childhood is poorly documented. We describe a young girl presenting with acute dyspnea, stridor and polyarthritis. The diagnosis of RP was made 2 years after first presentation, when auricular chondritis occurred. Based on a MEDLINE search, reports on RP in childhood were reviewed. The frequency of chondritis and systemic manifestations of RP in children was compared to data in adults and found to be very similar. RP in childhood can be a life-threatening and debilitating disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing* / drug therapy
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing* / physiopathology
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Steroids
  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine