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

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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From 1943-1980, 129 patients with relapsing polychondritis were seen at the Mayo Clinic, of whom 29 (22%) had evidence of glomerulonephritis based on a diagnostic renal biopsy or the presence of microhematuria and proteinuria. [43] Patients with renal damage are older and more likely to have extrarenal vasculitis and arthritis. A proposed mechanism in the pathogenesis of renal involvement in relapsing polychondritis derives from the deposition of immune complexes leading to glomerular damage. [43]

Pathological biopsy findings include segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis with or without crescents, interstitial lymphocytic infiltrates, interstitial fibrosis, active tubulitis, and glomerulosclerosis. The response to treatment varies from stabilization of renal function to renal failure.

Other conditions

Relapsing polychondritis has been seen in patients with underlying myelodysplastic syndrome and, less often, lymphoma. These cases may be paraneoplastic in nature.

Acute mastitis may be found in relapsing polychondritis. [22] Thromboembolism has been reported.

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