Which CNS findings are characteristic of relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

CNS manifestations of relapsing polychondritis are rare and can vary. It is believed that vasculitis of the small and/or medium sized arteries is the underlying etiology. [42]  Neurologic symptoms may present before other more frequent manifestations of relapsing polychondritis. Manifestations may include the following:

  • Patients may present with seizures, memory loss, delusions, limb weakness, paresthesias or gait disturbances, or other cerebellar symptoms.
  • Cranial nerve damage is common in relapsing polychondritis-associated CNS vasculitis and most often affects the second cranial nerve, followed less commonly by the sixth, seventh, and eighth cranial nerves.
  • Limbic encephalitis has been reported associated with relapsing polychondritis. [43, 44]
  • Aseptic meningitis has been reported infrequently in relapsing polychondritis. [45]
  • Clinical neurologic assessment is an important aspect of the physical examination of patients with relapsing polychondritis.

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