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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Bronchoscopic observation of unusual deformities of bronchial cartilage and subsequent airway narrowing in respiratory relapsing polychondritis

Tetsuya Kawano, Hiroto Matsuse, Naoe Kinoshita, Tomoko Tsuchida, Tomoya Nishino, Chizu Fukushima, Tomayoshi Hayashi, Shigeru Kohno

Am J Case Rep 2012; 13:114-117

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.883091

Available online:

Published: 2012-06-19


Backgournd:    Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent chondritis and inflammation of other proteoglycan-rich tissues. An RP patient with co-existing respiratory tract problems could have a poor prognosis.
    Case Report:    We reported a case of RP died with recurrent suffocation. At the early stage in this case, unusual deformities of bronchial cartilage were observed. Following systemic corticosteroid therapy, these deformities disappeared, and typical diffuse mucosal edema and dynamic collapse of airways developed.
    Conclusions:    These bronchoscopic abnormalities could be the early stage of RP.

Keywords: relapsing polychondritis, suffocation, deformity of bronchial cartilage