Revista Colombiana de Reumatología
Print version ISSN 0121-8123
TORO GIRALDO, Ana Milena et al. Behcet's disease: Experience in a Colombian cohort. Rev.Colomb.Reumatol. [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.1, pp. 33-45. ISSN 0121-8123.
Background: Behcet's disease (BD) is a multisystemic vasculitis of unknown cause. It is characterized by exacerbations and remissions of unpredictable duration. The clinical findings include oral and genital aphtaes, arthritis, cutaneous lesions, ocular, gastrointestinal and neurological manifestations. In our environment, the natural course, activity and severity of BD is not fully known. Objectives: the purpose of this research is to describe the clinical spectrum, activity and severity of BD in a group of Colombian patients. Methods: a longitudinal, observational, descriptive and prospective study was realized in a group of patients with BD, who were evaluated and followed for the rheumatology department at the Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, Medellín, Colombia. Results: 20 patients (15 women and 5 men) were found, with an average of 42.1 ± 11.2 years old at diagnosis. The most common clinical manifestations were the oral (95%) and genital (75%) ulcers, followed by cutaneous (60%), ocular (55%), articular (45%), gastrointestinal (40%), vascular (15%) and neurological (15%) involvement. The recurrent oral ulcers were the most common onset manifestation. The mean duration between the onset symptom and the fulfillment of diagnostic criteria was 4.45 ± 4.19 years. 50% patients were classified as having moderate disease and 35% as having severe disease. Conclusions: BD is an underdiagnosed disease in our environment. The mucocutaneous ulcers represent the main clinical finding and can precede other manifestations for a long time, causing a delay in diagnosis and allowing an aggressive behavior.
Keywords : Behcet's disease; vasculitis; skin manifestations; oral manifestation.