One year in review 2017: Behcet's syndrome

Hatemi G., Seyahi E., Fresko I., Talarico R., Hamuryudan V.

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.35, no.6, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


A meta-analysis showed that methodological differences in prevalence studies such as a sample survey design or census design may be responsible for some of the variance in BS prevalence reported across countries, in addition to a true geographic variation. Efforts towards developing a data driven core set of outcome measures for clinical trials is continuing. Multimodal imaging using colour fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography is essential in visualising diagnostic features, detecting structural changes, and monitoring disease activity and response to treatment in Behcet's uveitis. Haemoptysis could also be due to bronchial artery enlargement in BS patients with pulmonary artery involvement and can be effectively treated with embolisation. Recent studies shed light on the link between immune system and thrombosis: fibrin clots seemed to be structurally different and plasmin resistant in BS. Newer genetic associations using immunochip were determined, but HLA-B51 is still the principal genetic link. Various studies on micro-RNAs, important molecules of immune regulation were published and discussed. Anti-TNF agents are still the key biologics for the treatment of various manifestations of BS. Two Phase III trials enrolling a small number of BS patients have shown the efficacy of adalimumab in the treatment of non-infectious, non-anterior uveitis. Interferon-alpha was found to induce long-lasting drug free remissions in a retrospective study. Small observational studies with non-TNF biologics such as ustekinumab, anakinra and canakinumab report beneficial results which await confirmation with further studies.