Management of patients with relapsing polychondritis and airway complications

Ju Ryu Yon, Hae Kang Eun, Won Jung Koh, Young Suh Gee, Pyo Chung Man, O. Jung Kwon, Hojoong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: We encountered 7 patients with relapsing polychondritis complicating tracheobronchial narrowing. To describe the method of management and clinical outcome, we retrospectively reviewed medical records. Methods: Relapsing polychondritis was diagnosed according to the criteria of McAdam modified by Daminani and Levine. Airway complication was documented by 3-dimensional computed tomography scans and bronchoscopy. Clinical characteristics, diagnostic test results, records of consultation with the rheumatology department, treatment modalities, and clinical outcomes were investigated. Results: Among the 7 patients (4 women and 3 men; 18-69 years old), mechanical ventilation was required in 5. Patients were treated with high-dose corticosteroids for acute exacerbation and maintained with low-dose prednisolone with methotrexate or cyclophosphamide during follow up. Currently, 6 patients have survived without ventilatory support and 3 patients without tracheostomy. Four patients underwent endobronchial stenting, and the number of interventions was 1 to 6 per patient. During follow up (1.5-53 months), clinical outcome was favorable in 6 patients, but 1 patient died of pneumonia and respiratory failure. Conclusion: High doses of corticosteroids on acute exacerbation followed by maintenance low-dose prednisolone with immunosuppressants ± endobronchial stenting could be considered a therapeutic option in patients with relapsing polychondritis complicating tracheobronchial stenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bronchology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Bronchoscopy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Respiratory failure
  • Stent


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