What is the role of lab testing in the workup of relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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No laboratory findings are specific for relapsing polychondritis (RP). Anemia, if present, is typically normochromic and normocytic and is associated with a poor prognosis. Nonspecific indicators of inflammation (eg, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, elevated levels of C-reactive protein) are often present. Mild leukocytosis may be detected.

Because relapsing polychondritis is associated with many multisystemic diseases, a laboratory evaluation commensurate with the spectrum of reported symptoms is indicated to ascertain the presence of complicating conditions.

Use antinuclear antibody reflexive panel, rheumatoid factor, and antiphospholipid antibodies (if history of thrombosis is found) to evaluate for other autoimmune connective-tissue diseases.

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