Behcet's disease

V. G. Kaklamani, G. Vaiopoulos, P. G. Kaklamanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Scopus citations


Objectives: To review the new data on the epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, clinicolaboratory spectrum, prognosis, and treatments of Behcet's disease (BD). Methods: The information concerning the etiopathogenesis of the disease is divided into infection, immune, and genetic factors. The clinical features of the disease are discussed according to the organ or system involved. Treatment is described as general, local, and systemic. Results: BD is a multisystem vasculitis with recurrent symptoms. It affects mainly people living around the Mediterranean basin and in Japan. The mean age at onset is the third decade. Children are rarely affected, and few neonatal cases have been reported. In large series of patients, men predominate over women. Infectious agents, immune mechanisms, and genetic factors are implicated in the etiopathogenesis of the disease, which remains to be elucidated. The pathology of the lesions consists of widespread vasculitis. Eyes, skin, joints, the oral cavity, blood vessels, and central nervous system are usually involved, although less frequently the heart, lung, kidney, genital system, and gastrointestinal tract may be affected. The prognosis of the disease has been improved because of early diagnosis and suitable treatment. Local remedies and systemic administration of colchicine, corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, and other agents have been applied. Conclusion: BD is a widespread vasculitis affecting young people and involving concurrently or consecutively nearly all organs and systems. Treatment results in better prognosis even when vital organs are involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-217
Number of pages21
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Adamantiades-Behcet's disease
  • Behcet's disease
  • Systemic vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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