What are the mortality rates of relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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The 5-year survival rate associated with relapsing polychondritis has been reported to be 66-74% (45% if relapsing polychondritis occurs with systemic vasculitis), with a 10-year survival rate of 55%. Another study reported a survival rate of 94% at 8 years.ref18} However, those data may represent relapsing polychondritis in patients with less severe disease than patients studied in earlier reports.

The most frequent causes of death associated with relapsing polychondritis include infection secondary to corticosteroid treatment or respiratory compromise (10%-50% of deaths result from airway complications), systemic vasculitis, and malignancy unrelated to relapsing polychondritis.

Although the life expectancy in all patients with relapsing polychondritis is decreased compared with age- and sex-matched healthy individuals, patients with renal involvement have a significantly lower age-adjusted life expectancy. In those with renal disease, uremia is the third most frequent cause of death.

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