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Behcet's Syndrome

more about Behcet's Syndrome

  • This is a disease of unknown cause that affects multiple systems in the body.  The main characteristic is recurrent oral and genital ulcers.  The ulcers last for about 1-2 weeks then disappear without scarring.  The typical course is characterized by exacerbations and remissions.

  • Painful ulcers of the mouth and/or genitals.  The ulcers may be deep or shallow.  The base of the ulcer is usually made of dead, yellow-tinged tissue.  The ulcers may appear alone or in crops.
  • Eye involvement may include uveitis symptoms such as small irregular pupils, gradual visual loss, hazy vision, and other visual problems.
  • Skin may have rash that consists of red, hard, raised lesions known as erythema nodosum.
  • Blood clots may occur in the legs with symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness of the affected leg.
  • Arthritis, i.e., stiffness, pain, and swelling, especially in the knees and ankles
  • Central nervous system may be involved with symptoms of muscle weakness or mental disturbances.

  • Laboratories:
    1. White blood cell count (leukocytosis), sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein levels are often elevated.
    2. Antibodies to human oral mucosa are positive.
  • The diagnosis is made by finding symptoms and signs of the oral and genital ulcers described above, in association with some or all of the associated symptoms above, i.e., clots, arthritis pain, etc.

  • Topical corticosteroids in the ulcers (a paste is often used in the mouth)
  • Thrombophlebitis (blood clots) are treated with aspirin and Dipyrimadole
  • Colchicine and Interferon-alpha can be beneficial for arthritis symptoms.
  • Eye involvement (uveitis) or central nervous system (CNS) involvement requires oral corticosteroids (e.g., Prednisone) and stronger immune suppressants, such as Azathioprine or Cyclosporin.

  • See your physician as soon as possible.  Most individuals with this condition have a normal life expectancy.  Blindness is usually the most dreaded complication -- which may be prevented by early treatment of the eye symptoms.

more about Behcet's Syndrome

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