Relapsing Polychondritis Differential Diagnoses

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

Other conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of polychondritis include the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Polyarteritis nodosa

  • Cogan syndrome

  • Infectious perichondritis

  • MAGIC syndrome (relapsing polychondritis [RP] plus Behçet disease)

  • Trauma (especially in boxers and wrestlers)

  • Congenital syphilis

  • Chronic external otitis

  • Auricular calcification (secondary to other conditions, eg, trauma, Addison disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism)

Auricular chondritis

Causes include the following:

Inflammatory arthritis

Causes include the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (adult or juvenile)

  • Reactive arthritis

  • Acute gonococcal arthropathy

  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener granulomatosis)

  • Polyarteritis nodosa

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus and other collagen-vascular disorders

Nasal chondritis/saddle-nose deformity

Causes include the following:

  • Infectious perichondritis

  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener granulomatosis)

  • Congenital syphilis

  • Nasal NK/peripheral T-cell lymphoma (formerly known as angiocentric lymphoma)

Ocular inflammation

Causes include the following:

  • Reactive arthritis (ie, conjunctivitis plus arthritis plus urethritis)

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, Behçet disease, enteropathic arthritis, or Still disease (ie, iritis or chorioretinitis plus arthritis)

  • Polyarteritis nodosa or granulomatosis with polyangiitis (ie, scleritis or episcleritis plus arthritis)

  • Sjögren syndrome (ie, keratoconjunctivitis sicca plus arthritis)

  • Cogan syndrome (ie, intersitial keratitis plus cochlear and vestibular damage)

  • Arteriosclerosis, syphilis, collagen vascular disease, herpes zoster, sickle cell disease, migraine, coagulation disorders (ie, ischemic optic neuropathy)

Tracheal obstruction

Causes include the following:

  • Trauma (eg, strangulation)

  • Prolonged intubation

  • Sarcoidosis

  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis

  • Endoluminal malignancy

  • Tuberculosis/sarcoidosis webs

Respiratory tree chondritis

Perichondritis of the larynx resulting from any of the following:

  • Herpes

  • Syphilis

  • Erysipelas

  • Tonsillitis

  • Peritonsillar abscess

  • Tuberculosis

  • Measles

  • Diphtheria

  • Scarlet fever

  • Avitaminosis

  • Blastomycosis

  • Actinomycosis

  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis

  • Xanthoma

  • Typhus

  • Vincent infection

  • Anthrax

CNS alterations

Causes include the following:

  • Septic meningitis (fungal, bacterial, mycobacterial)

  • Aseptic meningitis unrelated to relapsing polychondritis, ie, viral

  • Ménière disease

  • Temporal arteritis

  • Malignancy

  • Drug toxicity

  • Encephalitis or meningoencephalitis

  • Other causes of cerebral vasculitis

  • Other causes of seizure disorder

  • Leprosy


Causes include the following:

Differential Diagnoses