My mother was diagonsed with polychrondritus(sp) (I am unsure of how to spell this) about 20 years ago. She is having a flair up and is having a hard time. She was looking to see if there was any more current information on this. I can not even find any information on it on the net. Do I have the right word? Does it go my another name?
Polychondritis often known as relapsing polychondritis is a rare systemic inflammatory illness that is characterized by episodic inflammation of structures that contain cartilage. Common sites of involvement are the nasal cartilage, joints, trachea (breathing tubes), eye and the ear lobes. Chronic inflammation of the ear causes deformity termed the “cauliflower ear” (its very descriptive even if you dislike the vegetable) . It can be associated with other rheumatic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and very occasionally can be associated with certain malignancies.
Unfortunately, because it is so rare there is no “standard therapy” and it can be difficult to treat partiuclarly if the lung trachea is involved. Prednisone is usually the treatment for severe disease and there are anecdotal reports of use of other immunosuppressive agents. A good place to start to look for info is your local Arthritis Foundation or university based rheumatology unit.