What is Behcet's Disease?

Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Did You Know? Behcet's Disease is a chronic inflammatory condition

Behcet’s Disease is a Rare Disorder that Causes Blood Vessel Inflammation

Behcet’s Disease is More Common Among People from the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia

Behcet’s Disease, or Behcet’s Syndrome, is an inflammatory disorder that can include vasculitis of the small and large arteries and veins. The disease tends to be more severe in men, but occurs equally between the sexes and is less common in children. 

What should you know about Behcet’s Disease? Read the following guide to learn about signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

01 | The Cause and Symptoms

The exact cause of Behcet’s Disease has not been determined, but immunologic and viral/bacterial triggers are suspected. The disease can lead to various symptoms that may seem unrelated at first. These include:

  • Mouth sores
  • Eye inflammation
  • Skin rashes/lesions
  • Genital sores
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Ulcerations of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Blood Clots

02 | Diagnosis

When a patient has recurrent mouth ulcerations combined with eye inflammation, genital sores and/or skin abnormalities, your healthcare provider may suspect Behcet’s Disease and will perform a thorough exam, including ruling out other illnesses with similar symptoms. 

When Behcet’s Disease is suspected, a Pathergy Skin Test may be recommended. For this diagnostic test, a sterile needle is used to prick the skin and if the puncture causes a red nodule or pustule that is greater than 2mm after 24-48 hours, this could indicate Behcet’s Disease.

03 | Treatment

Treatment is indicated for the relief of symptoms and will be determined based on specific problems experienced by each patient. Treatment may include:

  • Corticosteroids to suppress inflammation and immune function
  • Colchicine for mouth and genital sores
  • Immunosuppressive drugs

Most patients can control symptoms with treatment and symptoms may disappear and reappear throughout their lifetime.  For more information on Behcet’s Disease, please visit the American Behcet’s Disease Association: http://www.behcets.com/site/c.8oIJJRPsGcISF/b.9145373/k.C2D8/Behcet8217s_Disease.htm

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References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/behcets-disease/home/ovc-20178984

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Behcets_Disease/behcets_disease_ff.asp

http://www.medicinenet.com/behcets_syndrome/article.htm

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/behcets-disease-what-you-need-to-know

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