ACTA DERMATOVENEROLOGICA CROATICA, vol.21, no.3, pp.168-173, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
Recently, family history and increased frequency of some isolated manifestations of the disease in relatives of patients have been thought to play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of Behcet's disease (BD). Family history has been proposed to participate in diagnostic criteria. Investigating features of patients with different family histories may give an additional insight in understandings BD. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of familial occurrence and family history of recurrent oral ulcers (ROUs) on the clinical features of BD. We analyzed retrospectively 141 BD patients according to the International Study Group criteria. Family history of BD was present in 31.2%, family history of ROUs without BD in 31.9%, and negative family history for BD and ROUs in 36.9% of study patients. All patients were evaluated with respect to demographic and clinical features. There was no significant difference in most clinical features among patients with different family histories (p>0.05). Besides, patients with family history of BD and/or ROUs had longer duration of ROUs before diagnosis and more frequent extragenital ulcers than patients with negative family history of BD and ROUs (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). These findings did not show any strong effect of familial occurrence or positive family history of ROUs on all clinical characteristics of BD. However, sporadic ROUs should be considered an early predictor of probable BD in patients with family history of BD and/or ROUs, and they should be followed up carefully. Further studies including genetic testing of patients and their relatives are needed.