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November 1966

Relapsing Polychondritis of the Larynx and Trachea

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(5):570-573. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030572021

RELAPSING POLYCHONDRITIS is a rare disease in which several cartilaginous structures are involved in an inflammatory and degenerative process. The cartilages are eventually dissolved and replaced by fibrous connective tissue. The term "relapsing polychondritis" was suggested by Pearson et al1 in 1960 in a comprehensive review of the literature of the subject. Since the attacks are usually episodic they preferred this term to other descriptive names such as polychondropathy, systemic chondromalacia, and chronic atrophic polychondritis. The disease process usually involves the ear, nose, larynx, and tracheobronchial tree; hence, it is of particular interest to the otolaryngologist and the head and neck surgeon.

Report of a Case  The patient is a 25-year-old housewife who first noticed difficulty in breathing accompanied by wheezing in May, 1963. She consulted her family doctor, who diagnosed her condition as due to "allergy and nerves." The difficulty in breathing gradually increased to the point where

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