June 10, 2016 – Confirming RP


Anchor lead:  A test specific for relapsing polychondritis would help improve diagnosis, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Imagine having a painful condition that affected many of your joints and even your ability to breathe, yet not being able to get a diagnosis.  That’s exactly what happened to Marcela Ferrada, an infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins and someone who has the autoimmune condition known as relapsing polychondritis.

Ferrada: You want to have a test that is telling you and confirming your diagnosis. But for relapsing polychronditis we don’t have that.  We also don’t have a clear classification of the disease, which I believe we will need in order to be able to treat patients properly, as well as levels of flare, because it’s different for you to have an ear flare than for you to have an airway flare.  :24

Ferrada is now working with the Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness and Support Foundation to help develop a test for the condition and improve symptom management.  She recently presented her own case history at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting to raise awareness among physicians and improve diagnosis.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.