Behçet’s disease, painful ulcers in the mouth and genital area (wounds) It is a disease that progresses with eye problems and skin findings. Although the disease is rare, it is rarer in Turkey. The disease was named Behçet’s disease after Tütk Dermatologist Hulisi Behçet, who defined this disease in 1924.
What are the causes of Behçet’s Disease?
Although the exact cause of the disease is not known, it is defined as an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system goes to war against the tissues in the body. Although the cause of this condition is not known exactly, bacterial and viral infections may play a role in the development of the disease.
Who is at risk for Behçet’s Disease?
- Behçet’s Disease is a disease that is more common and severe in people of countries on the silk road. Behçet’s Disease is seen in one of 10,000 people in the Mediterranean countries, the middle east and the far east. The disease can also be seen in other ethnic groups in other countries. While it is more common in men in countries on the Silk Road, it is more common in women in other ethnic groups. Although the disease can be seen at any age, it most commonly occurs in the 20-30s.
Painful mouth ulcers are usually the first sign of the disease and patients 70% seen in it. Ulcers can occur on the tongue, on the inside of the lips and cheeks. While it usually takes 1-2 weeks, it can sometimes take up to 3 weeks. Other signs of the disease include:
- Ulcers in the genital area: These ulcers are less common than mouth ulcers. They are painful and usually heal with scarring.
- Eye Involvement: In the case of uveitis, redness and swelling occur in the eye. Sometimes the retina is damaged in the disease and can cause blindness if left untreated.
- Skin Findings: Painful swellings called erythemanodosum are common. Acne-like rashes may appear on the arms, legs, and trunk.
- Less common manifestations are gastrointestinal disorders (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting), joint pain and swelling, nervous system problems and vascular tissue and circulatory system problems.
How is Behçet’s Disease diagnosed?
In Behçet’s disease, it can be difficult to diagnose when all the findings are not together. ; If the patient has mouth and genital, eye and skin findings, the diagnosis is made more easily. The diagnosis of the disease is made according to the following criteria:
- Presence of two or more of the following criteria with recurrent aphthae in the mouth at least 3 times a year.
- Ulcers in the genital area
- eye involvement (Uveitis and retinal damage)
- skin findings
- Positive pathergy test ( A test to recognize Behçet’s disease)
What is the course of the disease?
Behçet’s Disease is a chronic disease and exacerbates in acute episodes with varying severity. In the early stage of the disease, attacks are more frequent and may last for several weeks. As the disease progresses, the interval between attacks becomes longer, and in some patients, the attacks may stop completely. Behçet’s patients 4% death occurs. The cause of death is perforation in the gastrointestinal tract, affecting the nervous system and ballooning disorders in the vascular structures.