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      Behçet’s Syndrome and Thrombosis

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          Behçet syndrome (BS) is a multisystem vasculitis with unknown etiology and a unique geographic distribution. The disease course is characterized by exacerbations and remissions while abating as the years pass. The usual onset is in the third decade. Recurrent skin mucosa lesions and sight threatening panuveitis are the hallmark of the disease. Males are more severely affected than females. Vascular involvement can occur in up to 40% of cases. BS is unique among the vasculitides in that it may involve all sizes and types of vessels. It affects the veins more than the arteries. Lower extremity vein thrombosis is the most frequent manifestation of vascular involvement, followed by vena cava thrombosis, pulmonary artery aneurysms, Budd-Chiari syndrome, peripheral artery aneurysms, dural sinus thrombosis and abdominal aorta aneurysms. Vascular involvement is frequently associated with constitut onal symptoms and increased acute phase response and is the major cause of increased mortality. A predominantly neutrophilic vasculitis around the vaso vasorum is typical of BS. The thrombus is tightly adherent to the vessel wall which probably explains why thromboembolism is so rare despite the high frequency of venous disease. Thrombophilic factors do not seem to explain thrombotic tendency in BS. Immunosuppressive treatment is essential in suppression and preventing the attacks.

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          Most cited references 78

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          Behçet's disease.

           T Sakane,  G Inaba,  M Takeno (1999)
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            Uveitis in Behçet disease: an analysis of 880 patients.

            We aimed to describe the demographic and clinical features, ocular manifestations, complications, visual prognosis, and treatment in a large population of Turkish patients with Behçet uveitis. We also aimed to compare visual prognosis between male and female sex and between patients who presented before and after 1990. Observational case series. A retrospective study of 880 consecutive patients (1,567 eyes) with Behçet uveitis seen at the Uveitis Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, from 1980 to 1998. All patients met the classification criteria of the International Study Group for Behçet's Disease. Information on the patient's sex, age at onset of uveitis, ocular features, ocular complications, visual acuity, and systemic treatment was collected. Five hundred ninety-nine patients (68%) were male and 281 (32%) were female. The mean age at onset of uveitis was 28.5 years in male and 30 years in female patients. Ocular involvement was bilateral in 78.1% and unilateral in 21.9% of the patients. Panuveitis was the most common form in both sexes. Fundus lesions as well as sight-threatening complications were more common in males. At the beginning of the follow-up, potential visual acuity was 0.1 or less in 30.9% of eyes in males and 24.2% of eyes in females. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis estimated the risks of losing useful vision (>0.1) at 5 and 10 years for males and females as 21% vs 10% and 30% vs 17%, respectively. Male patients who presented in the 1990s had a significantly lower risk of losing vision compared with male patients who presented in the 1980s. Behçet uveitis starts frequently around the end of the third decade and has a male predominance. The disease is more severe and the risk of losing useful vision is higher in males than in females. However, this risk has been significantly reduced in the 1990s.
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              Clinical patterns of neurological involvement in Behçet's disease: evaluation of 200 patients. The Neuro-Behçet Study Group.

              In order to define the patterns of neurological involvement in Behçet's disease and to assess prognostic factors, 558 files of the neuro-Behçet out-patient clinic were reviewed. Those patients without any evidence of objective neurological involvement as well as the patients with other possible explanations for the neurological picture, and cases not fulfilling the criteria for Behçet's disease were excluded. The remaining 200 cases (155 male, 45 female) were evaluated: 162 had parenchymal CNS involvement (brainstem or 'brainstem +' involvement in 51%, spinal cord involvement in 14%, hemispheric involvement in 15% and isolated pyramidal signs in 19%) while 38 had secondary or non-parenchymal CNS involvement. In the first group the most common findings were pyramidal signs, hemiparesis, behavioural changes and sphincter disturbance, whereas in the second group the syndrome of raised intracranial pressure due to dural sinus thrombosis was the main clinical manifestation. In 60% of the cases with parenchymal involvement, CSF was hypercellular and/or had an elevated protein level, whereas in cases with non-parenchymal involvement the CSF was usually normal except for the elevated pressure. In more than half of the patients with parenchymal involvement, MRI showed brainstem and/or basal ganglion lesions. Forty-one per cent of the cases had a course with at least one attack and remission, another 28% also had attack(s) but showed secondary progression, 10% had primary progression and 21% had silent neurological involvement. Survival analysis was performed in patients who had at least a 3-year duration of neurological disease. Parenchymal involvement, elevated protein and/or pleocytosis in the CSF, 'brainstem +' type involvement, primary or secondary progressive course and relapse during steroid tapering were all associated with a poorer prognosis.

                Author and article information

                Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis
                Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
                Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
                Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
                8 July 2011
                : 3
                : 1
                Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Sebahattin Yurdakul, MD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, University of Istanbul, Atakoy 9 Kisim D 12 Daire 12 Bakirkoy 34156, Istanbul, Turkey. Tel: +90 212 4143240, Fax: +90 212 5890808 e- mail: profsyurdakul@

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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