Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Relapsing polychondritis with crescentic glomerulonephritis.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 25 March 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:743
  1. G H Neild,
  2. J S Cameron,
  3. M H Lessof,
  4. C S Ogg,
  5. D R Turner


    Relapsing polychondritis is rare and its cause is unknown. The tissues affected are those with a high glycosaminoglycan content, such as cartilage, the aorta, the sclera and cornea, and parts of the ear. Symptoms can usually be controlled with oral steroids, but when there is coexistent progressive crescentic glomerulonephritis quadruple chemotherapy may be used. Three cases of the clinical syndrome of relapsing polychondritis were studied in which rapidly progressive cresentic glomerulonephritis developed. In two the patients appeared to respond to aggressive treatment with immunosuppressive agents and anticoagulants. The multisystemic nature of the disease, the renal lesions, and the response to treatment all suggested that the condition might be related to periarteritis nodosa.