Chronic atrophic polychondritis (PCA)

Chronic atrophic polychondritis (PCA) is a very rare condition, characterized by recurrent inflammation of the cartilage sometimes followed by its degeneration and the occurrence of deformities.

All types of cartilage can be affected but most often, the cartilages of the flag of the ear, nose and trachea are affected.

To know: In the medical jargon, a chondrite means an inflammation of the cartilages. The term comes from the Greek: khondron = cartilage; ite : suffix indicating inflammation.
It is necessary to differentiate this medical term from the term used in planetology where the chondrites designate a category of stony meteorites.

The disease evolves over several years with seizures sometimes accompanied by an impairment of the general state and inflammation of other tissues such as joints, skin, heart, vessels, or eyes which the class within the so-called "systemic" diseases (affecting several organs).

Chronic polychondritis atrophicis occurs mainly in middle-aged adults with a slight female predominance and affects all geographical origins.

Chronic atrophic polychondritis (PCA) in numbers

  • Its incidence (number of new cases in one year) is estimated at 3.5 per million inhabitants in the United States.
  • The prevalence (number of cases in a given population at a time) is one in 285, 000 people.

It is therefore a very rare affection!

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Read also :

> Rheumatoid arthritis
> Chondrocalcinosis
> Rhizarthrosis: osteoarthritis of the thumb

Author: Dr. Agnès Chabot, Rheumatologist

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