What causes relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The cause of relapsing polychondritis is not known. Familial clustering has not been observed. A genotyping study by Terao et al found that HLA-DRB1*16:02, HLA-DQB1*05:02 and HLA-B*67:01, in linkage disequilibrium with each other, are associated with susceptibility to relapsing polychondritis. In Germans, susceptibility for developing relapsing polychondritis has been found to be increased slightly by the HLA-DR4 haplotype. [44]

Three intriguing case reports suggest that hormonal influences may be important in relapsing polychondritis. Two men have developed relapsing polychondritis after receiving injections of luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone, and a woman with arthritis mutilans had a sudden exacerbation of her condition and new onset of atrophy of the auricular cartilage, nasal septum, weight loss, and deafness after receiving an injection of chorionic gonadotropin. [45]


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