Gibson, G. J. and Davis, P. (1974).Thorax, 29, 726-731. Respiratory complications of relapsing polychondritis. The respiratory function of a patient with relapsing polychondritis is described. He had severe airflow obstruction due to disease of both the extra and intrathoracic large airways. Evidence of small airways disease was lacking. The airflow obstruction was probably due to a combination of structural narrowing and an enhanced dynamic effect. Despite the severity of his disease the patient's exercise capacity was only slightly reduced but he developed carbon dioxide retention on exercise. Involvement of the airways is a common feature of this rare disease and demands full physiological and radiographic assessment if tracheostomy or other surgical procedure is contemplated.
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