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Head & Neck Oncology

Open Access

Advances in the understanding of chondrodermatitis nodularis chronica helices: the perichondrial vasculitis theory

  • Tahwinder Upile1,
  • Nimesh Patel1,
  • Waseem Jerjes1,
  • Navdeep Singh1,
  • Colin Hopper1,
  • Ann Sandison1 and
  • Leslie Michaels1
Head & Neck Oncology20091(Suppl 1):P24

Published: 28 July 2009


Public HealthVasculitisBlood SupplyHistopathological EvidenceArterial Blood Supply


Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Chronica Helicis usually presents as a painful nodule affecting the pinna. The aetiology of the disease is unknown. Several theories have been suggested.

We suggest a possible explanation based upon pathophysiological treatment correlations to new histopathological evidence.

Materials and methods

A detailed histopathological review of 16 confirmed cases of Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Chronica Helicis was undertaken.


Review of cases revealed arteriolar narrowing in perichondrium region of pinna most remote from arterial blood supply, i.e. helix. This has lead to ischaemic changes and death of the metabolically active underlying cartilage with necrosis and extrusion.


This is the first report of specific perichondrial arteriolar changes as the possible cause of underlying cartilage necrosis resulting in Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Chronica Helicis.

Authors’ Affiliations

UCLH Head & Neck Centre, London, UK


© Upile et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.