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Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon, chronic disorder of the cartilage that is characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation of the cartilage of various tissues of the body. Tissues containing cartilage that can become inflamed include the ears, nose, joints, spine, and windpipe (trachea). The eyes, heart, and blood vessels, which have a biochemical makeup similar to that of cartilage, can also be affected.
Alternative Names of Polychondritis are: Relapsing polychondritis.
Complications of Polychondritis
The list of complications that have been mentioned in various sources for Polychondritis includes:
Causes of Polychondritis
The cause of relapsing polychondritis is unknown. It is suspected that this condition is caused by an immune system disorder (autoimmunity) in which the body's immunity system (which normally fights off invaders of the body, particularly infections) is misguided. This results in inflammation that is directed at various tissues of the body.
Signs & Symptoms of Polychondritis
Diagnosis of Polychondritis
Treatments of Polychondritis
Prevention of Polychondritis
Because the cause is unknown, there is no way to prevent polychondritis. Complications can be prevented with appropriate medical attention. For example, if there is severe inflammation of the windpipe (trachea), a tracheal stent, a small tube that keeps the airway open, can be inserted until medications are able to control the disease.
When to seek Medical Advice
If you have the symptoms of polychondritis, especially if you have difficulty breathing, contact your health care professional.
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