Behçet’s Disease

What is Behçets’ Disease?
Behçets disease is characterized by recurrent mouth sores, genital sores, skin lesions, arthritis, and inflammatory eye disease.  Behçets disease involves blood vessels of all sizes, and therefore may occur at many other sites throughout the body.

Who gets Behçet’s Disease?
Behçet’s disease is seen worldwide, but most commonly occurs in people from Middle Eastern, Asian, and Japanese descent.  Symptoms typically develop when patients are in their 20s and 30s, but the disease has been seen in all ages, from infants to the elderly.

How is Behçet’s Disease diagnosed?
There are no specific laboratory tests in Behçet’s disease and therefore the diagnosis is made on the basis of the clinical findings.

How is Behçet’s Disease treated?
Treatment for disease that is confined to the mouth, genitals, and skin includes topical steroids and non–immunosuppressive medications such as colchicine.  Moderate doses of prednisone are also frequently required for disease exacerbations, and some patients require chronic, low dose prednisone to keep the disease under control.  For disease that involves the eye or central nervous system, treatment usually includes a combination of glucocorticoids and an immunosuppressive drug like azathioprine, cyclosporine, or anti-TNF drugs such as Humira or Remicade.  The most severe cases are treated with cyclophosphamide.

*Note: This content has been adapted from the VCRC website