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Prevalence and patterns of neurological involvement in Behcet’s disease: a prospective study from Iraq
  1. A Al-Araji1,
  2. K Sharquie2,
  3. Z Al-Rawi3
  1. 1Behcet’s Disease Clinic, Baghdad Teaching Hospital and Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Iraq
  2. 2Behcet’s Disease Clinic, Baghdad Teaching Hospital and Department of Dermatology
  3. 3Behcet’s Disease Clinic, Baghdad Teaching Hospital, and Department of Rheumatology
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Adnan H Al-Araji, PO Box 28595, Code 12631, Baghdad, Iraq; 


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of neurological involvement in Behcet’s disease in a prospective study, and to describe the clinical patterns of neurological presentation in this disease in patients attending a multidisciplinary clinic in Baghdad.

Methods: All patients attending the clinic who fulfilled the international study group criteria for the diagnosis of Behcet’s disease were studied during a two year period starting in April 1999. Patients were assessed neurologically by a neuro-Behcetologist. All those with clinical neurological manifestations were sent for CSF examination, cranial magnetic resonance imaging, and magnetic resonance venography and were followed up to explore the patterns of neurological relapse.

Results: 140 patients with Behcet’s disease were studied. Their mean age was 34.2 years (range 16 to 66); 105 (75%) were men and 35 (25%) were women. The mean duration of the disease was 4.2 years (range 0.4 to 26). Twenty patients (14%) had neurological involvement (neuro-Behcet’s disease); 14 of these (70%) were men and six (30%) women. The mean age at the first neurological presentation was 34.1 years. The mean duration of follow up of patients with neuro-Behcet’s disease was 20.7 months. Ten patients with neuro-Behcet’s disease (50%) presented with parenchymal CNS involvement, six (30%) with intracranial hypertension, and four (20%) with a mixed pattern of both parenchymal CNS involvement and intracranial hypertension.

Conclusions: Careful neurological assessment of patients with Behcet’s disease may show a relatively high prevalence of neuro-Behcet features, and though the clinical patterns of presentation are characteristic a mixed pattern may occur.

  • Behcet’s disease
  • prevalence
  • neuro-Behcet

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  • Competing interests: none declared