Background In 1972 Dr. Goldfinger of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston published one of the most quoted ‘letters to the editor’ in New England Journal of Medicine, ‘Colchicine for Familial Mediterranean Fever’, (FMF).1 Here he described 5 patients whose FMF attacks resolved by the continuous administration of colchicine. This 30 year old observation has been reproduced by numerous controlled studies and changed the prognosis of this disease dramatically.
Objectives To document the contribution of Professor Emir Özkan MD, on the use of colchicine in FMF.
Results What is not widely known is the contribution of another physician, Dr. Emir Özkan, professor of cardiology in the Medical Faculty of University of Istanbul, to the treatment of FMF. Dr. Özkan and his colleagues published their findings in an article entitled ‘A New Approach to the Treatment of Periodic Fever’ in the Medical Bulletin of Istanbul Medical Faculty.2 This article included their favourable results in 14 patients with FMF and also reported the disappearance of proteinuria in a patient with amyloidosis after 6 months of colchicine treatment. The authors had submitted this article on April 17, 1972, some 8 months before the appearance of the Goldfinger article in the New England Journal of Medicine which appeared in the December 21 issue of the journal.
Conclusion A Goldfinger-Özkan Award for Excellence in Clinical Science and Management of FMF, was given for the first time during the II. International Congress of FMF in Antalya, Turkey, in May 2000.
Goldfinger SE. Colchicine for familial Mediterranean fever. N Engl J Med. 1972;287:1302
Özkan E, Okur Ö, Ekmekci A, Özcan R, Tag T. A new approach to the treatment of periodic fever. Med Bull Istanbul. 1972;5:44–9
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