Tietz syndrome is a condition characterized by deafness and albinism. (Tietz syndrome is not to be confused with Tietze's syndrome, which is a benign inflammation of the cartilages connecting to the sternum or ribs.)
The primary presentation of the syndrome is significant, acute pain in the chest or back, along with inflammation of the ligaments (palpable on examination) between the ribs.
The most likely cause of Tietze's Syndrome is virus introduction during surgery. Once present, the virus responsible for Tietze's will remain dormant and flare up at times when the patient's immune response increases; i.e., a patient will often have a recurrence of pain and inflammation when she or he catches a common cold.
Although patients will often mistake the pain of Tietze's Syndrome for a myocardial infarction (or heart attack), it is believed that the syndrome does not progress to cause harm to any organs. Doctors often reassure patients that their symptoms are not associated with a heart attack, although they may need to treat the pain, which can in some cases be severe enough to cause significant but temporary disability to the patient.