Behcet’s Disease

Behcet's disease is a rare condition where blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis) involving small vessels lead to ulcerations (sores) of the affected tissues.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of Behcet's disease remains unclear. However, patients with a specific genetic background are more susceptible to development of Behcet’s disease. Risk factors for Behcet's can include age (20s to 30s), ethnicity and where you live (Middle East and Far East).


Symptoms of Behcet’s disease include:

  • Mouth sores
  • Genital sores
  • Eye inflammation
  • Skin rash


Behcet’s disease is a clinical diagnosis that requires a high index of suspicion. Your doctor will rely on your symptoms, clinical history, and physical exam to determine the likelihood of Behcet’s disease. Blood tests to rule out other conditions will likely be performed. Your doctor may perform a pathergy test where a needle is inserted into your skin followed by evaluation for formation of a red bump 24 hours later.


Treatment of Bechet’s disease depends on organs affected and disease severity. Medications used for treatment of Bechet’s disease include:

  • Topical or systemic steroids
  • Colchicine
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) inhibitors
  • Oral small molecule immunosuppressive medications such as azathioprine, cyclosporine and methotrexate

Contact Us

To learn more about our services or to make an appointmentwith a Brigham and Women’s Hospital rheumatologist, contact one of our trained coordinators at 1-800-294-9999 to get connected with the best doctor for your needs.

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