Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, Relapsing Polychondritis entry

Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare condition characterized by recurrent inflammation of cartilage and other tissues throughout the body. Cartilage is a tough but flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones at a joint, and gives shape and support to other parts of the body. Ear involvement is the most common feature, but a variety of other areas of the body may be affected, including the costal (rib) cartilage, eyes, nose, airways, heart, vascular (veins) system, skin, joints, kidney, and nervous system.[1][2] The signs and symptoms vary from person to person depending on which parts of the body are affected. The exact underlying cause of RP is unknown; however, scientists suspect that it is an autoimmune condition.[3][4] The primary goals of treatment for people with RP are to relieve present symptoms and to preserve the structure of the affected cartilage.[5][6]

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