Behcet's (beh-CHETS) disease, also called Behcet's syndrome, is a rare disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout your body. The disease can lead to numerous signs and symptoms that can seem unrelated at first. They can include mouth sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes and lesions, and genital sores. Treatment involves medications to reduce the signs and symptoms of Behcet's disease and to prevent serious complications, such as blindness.
Behcet's disease symptoms vary from person to person, can come and go or become less severe over time. Signs and symptoms depend on which parts of your body are affected. Areas commonly affected by Behcet's disease include:
In 1937, Hulusi BehÃ§et, a Turkish dermatologist, described a syndrome characterized by recurrent oral ulcers, genital ulcers, and hypopyon uveitis of unknown cause. The diverse range of clinical findings seems to stem from an underlying vasculitis; however, the ultimate etiologic agent remains unknown.
Occurring most frequently in the Middle East, BehÃ§et's is endemic among populations clustered along the historic silk road, which extended from eastern Asia to the Mediterranean basin. Highest prevalence is in Iran, Turkey, and other Near Eastern or Mediterranean Basin countries. In the Middle East, Europe and the United States, young men are most often affected; however, in Japan and Korea there appears to be a slight female preponderance. Current prevalence is estimated to range from a low of 0.3 per 100,000 in Northern Europe to a peak of 16 to 100 per 100,000 in Iran.