Background Fatigue is an important problem in several inflammatory conditions, affecting quality of life. It is a patient reported outcome measure used in the evaluation of disease activity and in drug trials.
Objectives To evaluate fatigue and its relation to the type of organ involvement in Behçet’s syndrome (BS), using diseased and healthy controls.
Methods We studied 152 BS, 51 RA, 51 SLE, 51 AS patients and 65 healthy controls. We evaluated them using the fatigue severity score, fatigue impact score, fibromyalgia impact score, RAPID3, SF-36 and Behçet’s syndrome activity scale (only BS patients). Presence of fibromyalgia was defined as chronic widespread pain together with 11/18 sensitive points. We separately analyzed subgroups of BS patients, 42 with eye involvement, 30 with vascular involvement, 40 with joint involvement and 40 with only mucocutaneous involvement. We also did a separate analysis among women in each group. Groups were compared with stepwise ANOVA and Pearson chi-square tests.
Results Fatigue severity scores and fatigue impact scores were similar among BS, RA, SLE and AS patients and significantly higher than healthy controls (Table). Fibromyalgia was significantly more frequent among RA patients followed by SLE patients. Fibromyalgia impact score, RAPID3 score and the mental component of SF-36 was significantly higher among RA than all other groups, was similar among BS, SLE and AS patients, and significantly higher than healthy controls. There was no significant difference between the groups in the physical component of SF-36. All BS subgroups had equally high fatigue severity and impact scores, fibromyalgia impact scores, and SF-36 mental and physical scores. Disease activity measured by BSAS was similar among the 4 subgroups (p=0.85). When women were analyzed separately, the results were similar to those of the total group except for the frequency of fibromyalgia and RAPID3 scores which were higher among RA patients compared to the diseased and healthy controls (χ2 =15.3, p=0.004 and χ2 =15.3, p=0.004 respectively).
Conclusions Fatigue is an important problem in BS, as it is in other inflammatory conditions. It is equally severe in subgroups of patients with eye, vascular, joint and only mucocutaneous involvement. Fatigue should be considered as a patient reported outcome measure in BS.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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