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Mertay Boran, MD* and Ertay Boran, MD


Background: Patients with chest pain may remain undiagnosed for a long time after exclusion of life threatening diseases. Idiopathic costochondritis (IC) is characterized by chest pain and costochondral junction tenderness while TS is accompanied by characteristic nonsuppurative painful swelling over the rib cartilages. We compare IC and TS, investigate our treatment modalities, recurrence rates and seasonality of the diagnosis. Methods: We prospectively analyzed all patients with IC and TS who were diagnosed and treated in our department between 2009 and 2013. Demographics, treatments, and the seasons of diagnosis were recorded. The TS group and the IC group were compared. Results: A total of 431 consecutive patients with IC ((58%) women; mean age, 39.0 ± 17.0 years) and 24 patients with TS ((66%) women; mean age, 34.0 ± 17.2 years) were evaluated. All patients were treated medically, pain disappeared in 3 weeks (91.3%, P= 0.002) in IC group. Recurrence was more frequent in the TS group (12.2%, P=0.04). IC diagnosis was lowest in summer (20.6%) and September (4.2%) and more frequent in the winter–spring period (58.2%). Women ratio is higher in two groups (P=0.4). The month of diagnosis and the respiratory tract infection history were statistically different between the two groups (P=0.04 and P=0.003, respectively). Conclusions: We found that TS and IC were more frequently seen in women and in the winter–spring period. In our study healing was evident in 3 weeks (86%–91%) and the recurrence rates were low. Our demonstration of seasonality highlights the unclear etiology of these diseases.

Keywords: Seasons, Cartilage Diseases, Costal Chondritis, chest pain, cartilage, treatment.

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