Background Vascular involvement is seen in up to 40% of the patients with Behcet's Disease (BD), especially in young males and is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity. Lower extremity vein thrombosis due to vascular inflammation is the most frequent form of vascular involvement in BD. Recently, assessment of vessel wall thickness (VWT) and venous dilatation by US is suggested to be valuable in patients with vascular inflammation.
Objectives In this study, we investigated whether vessel wall thickness or dilatation is present in young male BD patients prone to venous vascular disease.
Methods Fifteen male patients with BD without major organ involvement followed in Marmara University Behcet's Clinics, 14 healthy male controls and 14 male patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) were included the study. Bilateral lower extremity venous doppler ultrasonography (US) was performed by an experienced radiologist blinded to cases. No patient was under immunosuppressive treatment. Bilateral common femoral vein (CFV) wall thickness and great/small saphenous vein dilatations were examined. Behçet Syndrome Activity Score (BSAS) was used for the general assessment of disease activity.
Results The mean disease duration was 9.1±6.3 years in patients with BD. BSAS score was 28.9±19. Bilateral CFV wall thickness was significantly higher in BD patients compared to healthy controls and AS (p=0.001, p=0.002, respectively for right CFV; p=0.001, p<0.001, respectively for left CFV) (Table 1). The width of great and small saphenous veins were also higher in patients with BD, but without reaching statistical significance. There were no correlations between BSAS and wall thickness of any vessel.
Conclusions In preliminary results of our study, an increased venous vessel wall thickness in lower extremity was shown in male BD patients without vascular involvement. As a similar change was not observed in controls, we think, increased VWT might be an early sign of venous inflammation in patients with BD rather than a result of non-specific systemic inflammation. Further studies with a larger group of patients is planned.
Disclosure of Interest None declared