Behcet's syndrome: a critical digest of the 2012-1213 literature

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

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.31, no.3, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Recent work on the epidemiology of Behcet's syndrome confirm the previous contention that the prevalence increases from North to South and that the disease follows a more severe course in patients with an early age of onset, also when specifically studied in patients with eye and gastrointestinal involvement. Imputation analyses of genome wide association studies revealed new associations such as ERAP-1, CCR1-CCR3, KLRC4 and STAT4. Further work suggested that the BS associated variant of STAT4 is not related to the previously reported one associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The prognosis of eye involvement seems to have improved over the last decade with better visual acuity and less frequent severe complications in patients reported in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. Immunosuppresssives and corticosteroids were observed to improve the outcome of cardiac involvement in BS. Recurrence and complications were common in these patients when surgery was performed without immunosuppressives. The cognitive dysfunction in BS patients with neurological involvement seemed to be severely impaired and worse than that of multiple sclerosis patients, suggesting a more severe "frontal"-executive dysfunction. Gastrointestinal involvement seemed to be brought to a remission in the majority of BS within 5 years, with about one fourth of the patients following a relapsing or chronic disease course. TNF-alpha inhibitors have become standard treatment for patients resistant to conventional immunosuppressives. Switching to another biologic can be effective when the first or even the second biologic agent fails or is stopped due to adverse events.