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January 1978

Relapsing Polychondritis With Positive Direct Immunofluorescence

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(1):127. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640130085034

To the Editor.—  Relapsing polychondritis (RPC) is a rare, occasionally fatal, disease of unknown origin, and pathogenesis results in chondrolysis and ultimate collapse of all cartilaginous structures. Recent studies suggest an immune disorder with production of autoantibodies possibly to mucopolysaccharides and the perpetuation of cartilaginous inflammation by a reduced protolytic process.Rogers et al1 report circulating autoantibodies to cartilage in the seraof patients with RPC. Immunoglobulin reactants against cartilage have not been demonstrated, to date, with the use of direct immunofluorescence. I would like to report a case of RPC that demonstrated the classic clinical and histopathologic changes of relapsing polychondritis with deposition of IgG, IgA, C3 at the fibrocartilaginous junction of the ear cartilage on direct immunofluorescence.

Report of a Case.—  A 48-year-old woman was seen in the Department of Dermatology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in 1975, with a history of recurrent episodes of tender, red ears, which

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