1987 Volume 90 Issue 8 Pages 1181-1187
Relapsing polychondritis (R.P.) is a disorder of unknown cause characterized by the destruction of cartilage throughout body. A 39-year-old female who suffered from sudden onset of hearing loss in both ears and vertigo during the course of R.P. was reported. By the way, we measured the antibodies to the type II (cartilage) collagen in the serum of the patient by an emzyme immuno assay in combination with electrophoretic transfer of sodium dodecyl sulfate- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis-resolved collagen to nitrocellulose sheets. In result, antibodies to type II collagen were found in the serum of the patient and no antibodies to other collagen types were found. We demonstrated the antibody activity to type II collagen in the serum of the patient was decreased after plasmapheresis which was done as a treatment.
Audiovestibular disorders observed in the patient was discussed with relation to the underlying R.P.. The onset and course of this audiovestibular disorders resembled that of Meniere's disease. If the type II collagen exists in the subepithelial connective tissues of the endolymphatic duct, which Yoo speculated, there is probability that endolymphatic hydrops was produced by immunologic reaction in the same place. In short, we suggest a possible role for type II collagen autoimmunity in the etiology of audiovestibular disorders with R.P..