Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an uncommon disorder of unknown aetiology characterized by inflammation and destruction of the cartilaginous structures of many organs, including the tracheobronchial tree. When untreated, there is a high mortality rate, usually from respiratory obstructive complications. An 8 year old white girl, with a previous diagnosis of RP, was referred to our department for evaluation of worsening dyspnoea. Bronchoscopy showed localized inflammatory and fibrotic alterations of the mucosa, leading to severe obstruction of the left mainstem bronchus at its origin. The condition was successfully treated by endoscopic neodymium yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd YAG) laser. Re-evaluation of the patient, 7 months later, demonstrated bronchial stenosis and malacia requiring mechanical dilatation and positioning of an endobronchial silicon stent, which was well-tolerated by the patient.
- laser therapy
- relapsing polychondritis
- silicon stent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine