Behçet's disease

What is it?

This is an inflammatory disease characterized by damage to the mucous membranes. Characteristic manifestations are aphthae of the oral mucosa, eye damage, and genital ulcers.

The first descriptions date back to the time of Hippocrates, and modern medicine identified this pathology in 1922 with the help of X. Planner and F. Remenovsky. In 1937, the Turkish dermatologist Hulusi Behcet, after whom the disease was named, proposed to group pathologies of lesions of the eyes, mouth and genitals into a general category.

Causes and risk factors

Some patients have a genetic or racial predisposition to the development of this disease. The disease is mainly observed in such countries as Turkey, Japan, Iran and in some areas of the Mediterranean basin.

Most often, the disease occurs at the age of 20 to 30 years and happens twice as often in men than in women. Cases in childhood are rarely described.

Which are the symptoms?

The appearance of recurrent aphthae in the oral cavity (at least three times during the year) in combination with at least two of the following clinical manifestations:

  • recurrent genital ulcers;
  • inflammation of the eyes (uveitis);
  • skin manifestations (erythema nodosum, pseudofolliculitis, papulo-pustular lesions);
  • hypersensitivity of the skin (patergia).

Phlebitis reactions may occur. In fact, the disease causes inflammation (vasculitis) of the venous and arterial vessels, which in some cases can also cause neurological, cardiac and renal damage.


How is it treated?

Therapy is based on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Oral aphthae can be treated with colchicine. In the case of eye damage, cortisone and immunosuppressants may be required.

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Behçet's disease specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.