Vascular manifestations are the major classical features of Behcet's disease, and phlebothrombosis may affect all parts of the body, including the dural sinus (Wechsler and Piette 1199). Damage to arteries, seen in five percent to 35 percent of patients, can cause aneurysms and arterial thrombosis, which carry a poor prognosis because the aneurysms frequently rupture, particularly those in the pulmonary vessels. In the heart, cardiac lesions include thickening and intraventricular thrombosis. Vasculitis of the coronary arteries can cause infarctions or aneurysms, and often requires surgical treatment.
The articular manifestations in Behcet's disease are not usually destructive, and for most patients, Behcet's disease is not life-threatening.
In children, Behcet's disease can involve intestinal symptoms. Ventura, Trevisiol and Marchetti (2115) reported on nine pediatric cases of Behcet's disease according to the major diagnostic criteria for an International Study Group for Behcet's disease (eye disease, oral aphthous lesions, skin lesions, genital ulcers) which found gastrointestinal symptoms in a low percentage of patients. A Japanese study found gastrointestinal symptoms in 69 percent of children with the disease. Eight patients in the study by Ventura, Trevisiol and Marchetti had recurrent aphthous stomatitis, six had skin lesions, five had genital ulcers, and four had eye disease. Severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and perforation requiring surgery, occurred in only one patient.
The sensitivity of nuclear medicine procedures for assessing gastrointestinal involvement was assessed in symptom-free patients. The researchers did monoclonal antibody technetium-99 leucocyte scintigraphy in the 8 patients with no gastrointestinal symptoms, and found scintigraphic evidence of inflammation of the distal gastrointestinal tract in six of these patients (Ventura, Trevisiol and Marchetti 21...
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