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Anales de Medicina Interna

versión impresa ISSN 0212-7199


ELIAS HERNANDEZ, M.T.; SANCHEZ GIL, R.; LOPEZ CAMPOS, J.L.  y  CASTILLO GOMEZ, J.. Asthma as presentation form of relapsing polychondritis . An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2001, vol.18, n.3, pp.35-38. ISSN 0212-7199.

Relapsing polychondritis is a systemic disease of unknown etiology characterised by relapsing inflammation affecting cartilaginous structures, cardiovascular system, eyes and ears. Respiratory involvement occurs in 56% of patients during the disease progression, but only in 14% of cases as an initial presentation. Patients develop severe symptoms due to the disease affecting the glottis and the tracheobronquial tree, which represents the cause of death in 50% of cases. The unspecificity of respiratory symptoms makes that the disease may be confounded with some other if it is not accompanied with a typical presentation, which may cause a delay in the diagnosis. Pulmonary function tests are of great importance, since an obstructive pattern not reversible after bronchodilator administration and a plateau in flow-volume curves are of great help when assessing the severity of the obstruction. High resolution computed tomography is a non-invasive test more precise than bronchoscopy in identifying tracheal and bronchi abnormalities, so it should be performed at the onset of the respiratory symptoms together with the pulmonary function tests. We present the case of a patient, whose disease started with respiratory semiology suggesting bronchial asthma, which preceded in six months the main sign nasal chondritis.

Palabras clave : Polychondritis; Cartilages; Tracheobronchial disorder.

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