Behcet's syndrome: a critical digest of the 2014-2015 literature

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

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.33, no.6, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


Several studies were published last year which focused on the epidemiology, immunopathogenesis, genetics, clinical manifestations and management of Behcet's syndrome. Recent epidemiologic studies support the earlier contention that the frequency of BS increases from North to South in Europe, BS is rare in Sub-Saharan Africa, it follows a more severe course among young men, especially if the disease onset is at a young age and that in European countries, the frequency is higher among immigrants from BS prevalent countries compared to locals living in the same environment. The relationship between HLA-B51 and Behcet's was re-emphasised and a functional role affecting cellular cytotoxicity was proposed. Innate immunity was explored and TLR7 copy number variations and nucleic acid sensors of varying inflammasome pathways were studied. Vascular relapse risk is decreased when BS patients are treated with immunosuppressives with or without anti-coagulation rather than anticoagulation alone. Although rare in the Far East, the clinical picture of the vascular involvement was quite similar to the previously published reports. Interestingly a female predominance among those with cerebral vein thrombosis was noted. Venous claudication is a frequent and severe symptom among BS patients with lower extremity DVT. Budd-Chiari syndrome associated with BS is usually associated with TVC thrombosis. Silent cases exist and have a better prognosis. The mortality rate among the patients symptomatic for liver disease remains high. Methotrexate seems to be effective in the treatment of chronic progressive neuro-Behcet's disease. Renal involvement is an uncommon disorder in BS. Suicidal thoughts are increased among BS patients with severe organ involvement. Work-related disability in BS is high and under-appreciated. Apremi-last,an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-4, was effective in a phase 2, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Adalimumab seems to be effective in severe uveitis of BS even after failure of infliximab. New cytokine inhibitors targeting IL-1 and IL-6 appear to be effective especially for uveitis and CNS involvement refractory to anti TNF agents.