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Perichondritis
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Perichondritis

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Contributors: Casey Silver MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Michael W. Winter MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Perichondritis is an infection of the soft tissue that encloses the auricular (ear) cartilage. It typically presents with erythema, edema, and tenderness in the pinna of the ear. Infection is usually bacterial, introduced through local trauma (ie, piercing) or burns. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are the bacteria most commonly implicated, and polymicrobial infection is common. Immunocompromised patients are at increased risk for perichondritis. Perichondritis can be the presenting infection of human immunodeficiency virus, lymphoma, and, in some instances, diabetes mellitus.

Relapsing polychondritis is a rare noninfectious disorder that mimics perichondritis.

Perichondritis is treated with systemic antibiotics that include both pseudomonal and staphylococcal coverage. If untreated, infection may spread into the deeper cartilage of the ear (chondritis), causing more significant injury.

Codes

ICD10CM:
H61.009 – Unspecified perichondritis of external ear, unspecified ear

SNOMEDCT:
37600001 – Perichondritis

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Last Reviewed: 03/29/2019
Last Updated: 04/02/2019
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Perichondritis
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Perichondritis : Edema, Erythema, Helical rim of ear, Tragus of ear
Clinical image of Perichondritis
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