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Dealing with a rare disease such as relapsing polychondritis: “food for thought”…

19 May 2013 7 comments

Working as a rheumatologist in an average peripheral hospital means occasionally being confronted with conditions that are quite rare. One of these conditions is Relapsing Polychondritis (RPC), a quite typical condition in terms of how it can be recognised just based on the clinical presentation. However it is a condition not seen that foten at all in a regular rheumatology outpatient clinic.

The weird thing in medicine is that rare conditions happen to be encountered clustered in time in two or three cases shortly after one another, followed by a quite long period in which one does not see the same condition.

That’s also what happened to me for Relapsing Polychondritis. As a trainee in rheumatology I was actually lucky to meet two patients with Relapsing Polychondritis within a month’ s time. Ever since I have not seen a patient with Relapsing Polychondritis untill last month, and guess what…the case was followed by another one in the same month, so again “two-in-a-row” after not having seen RPC in about 4 years. Read more…