|Vol. 4, Issue 2, Article 1||Saleem, S.|
In 1937, a Turkish dermatologist, Hulusi Behcet, described a ‘Triple symptom complex’ of aphthous ulceration, genital ulceration and iridocyclitis (1). Since Behcet’s original description, many musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urogenital, cardiac, cutaneous and neurologic symptoms have been attributed to Behcet’s disease (BD) (2).
The cause of BD is unknown; auto-immune, infection and genetic causes have been speculated (3). An environmental factor is thought to be involved, as BD has a characteristic geographical distribution spanning the Mediterranean basin and Asia. BD is also known as Silk Road disease, because of its geographic distribution along the historic route of commerce and travel between Europe and Asian. It is postulated that agents responsible for the disease or the necessary genetic susceptibility propagated along this path (3, 4). The diagnosis of BD relies solely on the clinical picture as there are no pathognomonic chemical or serological investigations for the disease. Oral aphthae are a prerequisite for BD diagnosis, accompanied by any two out of the following: genital ulcerations, skin lesions, eye involvement and skin pathergy reaction defined as hyperactivity of the skin to non-specific physical insults such as pinprick (5). Because BD is relatively uncommon and its symptoms can overlap with other diseases, it can be very difficult to diagnose (6).
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