Background The pathological process in Behçet's disease (BD) is autoimmune vasculitis which may involve all types and sizes of vessels. Previous studies evaluated the changes in vascular flow of ocular/carotid arteries, superior/inferior mesenteric artery with Doppler ultrasonography (US) (1,2). On the other hand, although very few, involvement of the distal extremity arteries has been mentioned in BD (3).
Objectives To evaluate the blood flow parameters of hand arteries in patients with BD by using Doppler US and to determine whether the blood flow parameters correlated with any of the diseases characteristics.
Methods Twenty-seven (13 F, 14 M) consecutive BD patients and 27 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included. Demographic and clinical characteristics of the subjects were recorded. Doppler measurements for radial and ulnar arteries (wrist level), and ulnar proper palmar artery (3rd finger distal interphalangeal joint level) were performed bilaterally (Fig. 1).
Results Mean age of the patients and controls were 35.6±9.2 years (range, 19-59). Patient and control groups were similar as regards body mass index (25.0±3.2 kg/m2 vs 24.5±2.7 kg/m2) and number of smokers (9 vs 11) (both p values >0.05). The diameter and flow volume of radial, ulnar, digital arteries were decreased and pulsatility index were increased in BD group (all p values <0.05). All Doppler values of patients' radial arteries were significantly different from the control group (all p values <0.05). The diameter, flow volume, peak systolic velocity and end-diastolic velocity were decreased, resistive index and pulsatility index were increased in the radial artery (all p values <0.05).
Conclusions Our results demonstrated that hand blood flow decreased in BD patients when compared to healthy controls and that the changes were more predominant in the radial artery. Further studies with larger sample sizes with different disease characteristics are warranted to explain the clinical relevance of these findings.
Akçar N, Göktekin F, Ozer A, Korkmaz C. Doppler sonography of ocular and carotid arteries in Behçet patients. J Clin Ultrasound 2010;38:486-492.
Siğirci A, Senol M, Aydin E, et al. Doppler waveforms and blood flow parameters of the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries in patients having Behçet disease with and without gastrointestinal symptoms: preliminary data. J Ultrasound Med 2003;22:449-457.
Onder M, Ozden MG, Aksakal AB, et al. Raynaud phenomenon and behçet disease: diagnosis with technetium Tc 99m methylenediphosphonate bone scan and treatment with continuous sympathetic block. Arch Dermatol 2002;138:698-699.
Disclosure of Interest None declared