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Behcet's syndrome in nonendemic regions

Leccese, Pietro; Yazici, Yusuf; Olivieri, Ignazio

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: January 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 12–16
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000349
VASCULITIS SYNDROMES: Edited by Hasan Yazici and Yusuf Yazici

Purpose of review Behcet's syndrome is more common in certain geographic regions, however, can be seen outside of these areas and need to be included in the differential diagnosis of many patients, as it has overlapping features with many rheumatologic conditions.

Recent findings Especially in regions with immigrant populations, there seem to be similarities to originating countries in Behcet's prevalence, but the syndrome is not limited to those from certain backgrounds and can be seen in others also. There is emerging evidence that even though the prevalence of Behcet's may be similar to that of endemic areas, in nonendemic regions the condition may be less severe, suggesting potential environment agents in determining the severity of the disease. In addition, women seem to be overrepresented in nonendemic areas and may explain part of the reason for less severe symptoms, as Behcet's tends to be more severe in men.

Summary The somewhat different presentation of Behcet's syndrome in nonendemic areas needs to be considered when thinking about Behcet's in the differential diagnosis of patients. Research into potentially less severe form of the disease in nonendemic areas may provide new clues to the pathogenesis of this condition.

aRheumatology Department of Lucania, San Carlo Hospital of Potenza and Madonna delle Grazie Hospital of Matera, Matera, Italy

bDepartment of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Yusuf Yazici, MD, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, 333 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA. Tel: +1 646 501 7400; e-mail:

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