Pulmonary CT findings in relapsing polychondritis

Zhi Qian Lin; Jian Rong Xu; Jie Jun Chen; Xiao Lan Hua; Ke Bei Zhang; Yong Jing Guan
May 2010
Acta Radiologica;May2010, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p522
Academic Journal
Background: Relapsing polychondritis (RPC) is a rare rheumatic disease characterized by recurrent inflammation of cartilaginous structures, with airway involvement a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate airway and lung abnormalities in RPC with computed tomography (CT). Material and Methods: From January 2004 to May 2009, 21 patients with RPC (12 men, 9 women; 13–65 years old) underwent chest CT examinations. Two chest radiologists evaluated the CT images retrospectively. Abnormal findings, including airway stenosis, airway malacia, air trapping, and airway wall thickening with or without calcifications, were observed and noted. Results: Major abnormal CT findings were observed in eight patients (38.1%), which included airway wall thickening ( n=7), airway stenosis ( n=6), airway malacia ( n=6), airway wall calcification ( n=8), and air trapping ( n=3). Mediastinal lymph nodes were found in 12 patients. Lung infection was identified in four patients and interstitial lung disease in six patients. Conclusion: The CT findings in patients with RPC consisted mainly of airway wall thickening, airway stenosis, airway malacia, airway wall calcification, and air trapping.


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