Background Behcet’s disease is a multisystemic inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent oral and genital ulcers, skin lesions and uveitis. The diagnosis of Behcet’s disease is based on clinical criteria. The etiology of the disease is unknown but the wide variations of ethnic prevalence and of the prevalence in the same ethnic group in different geographic areas indicates environmental triggering of a genetically determined disorder.
Objectives We aimed to describe the demographic and clinical features of Behcet’s in a Tunisian military population.
Methods A retrospective analysis of the medical charts of 150 Behcet’s disease patients seen in our internal medicine department between 1995 and 2010 was undertaken. Among them 85 patients fulfilled the International Study Group for Behcet’s disease criteria and were included in the study.
Results All patients were Tunisian originated from all the parts of Tunisia. They were 67 men and 18 women with a male to female ratio of 3.7. The mean age at the Behcet’s disease diagnosis was 32 years (range, 15-65 years). Oral ulcers were seen in all patients and were the first feature of Behçet’s disease in 31 patients (36.9%). Genital ulcers occurred in 70 (82.4%) patients, 65 patients (76.5%) had pseudofolliculitis and 48 (56.5%) had skeletal manifestations. Ocular involvement was observed in 33 (38.8%) patients, vascular lesions were seen in 28 (32.9%) patients and gastrointestinal lesions were the less frequent clinical feature seen in only 3 (3.5 %) patients. Patients have been followed up for a median of 70 months (range 1-276 months). Ten patients were lost sight and one patient died from massive pulmonary embolism.
Conclusions The fact that there are ethnic and regional differences in Behçet’s disease presentation is well known. Not only the frequency but also the type of organ lesions seems to differ between regions. These differences could be related to genetic and environmental influences. Perhaps this is why some prefer to see in BD a syndrome rather than a disease. Ocular manifestations were relatively common in our study and gastrointestinal lesions were square which is different from others populations.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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