BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-219424

Calcified cauliflower ear in relapsing polychondritis

  1. Abhishek Maiti1,4
  1. 1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
  2. 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  3. 3 Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
  4. 4 Division of Cancer Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abhishek Maiti, abhishek.maiti{at}
  • Accepted 30 March 2017
  • Published 21 April 2017


A 59-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presented with dyspnoea for 3 days. Physical examination revealed diffuse rhonchi over chest, and very hard, thick, deformed auricles except for the ear lobules, which were soft (figure 1A). Patient reported remote history of episodic pain and redness of his ears and nose, which improved with over-the-counter pain medicines. A radiograph of the ears showed calcification of the auricular cartilages (figure 1B, white arrow). A complete blood count showed neutrophilic leucocytosis of 13.1×103/µL and chronic normocytic anaemia of 12.3 g/dL. Inflammatory markers including erythrocyte sedimentation rate …

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