Neurological manifestations of Behçet's disease in a Caribbean population: clinical and imaging findings

J Neurol. 2002 Apr;249(4):410-8. doi: 10.1007/s004150200031.


Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic relapsing multisystem disorder. While most frequently occurring around the Mediterranean and in Japan, isolated cases of BD have been reported in Africa south of the Sahara and in the Caribbean. The aim of this study was to describe our experience of BD in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) where the presence of the disease has not been reported previously. We analysed retrospectively the charts, and clinical and imaging features of patients native to Guadeloupe who were diagnosed with neurological manifestations of BD between 1989 and 1999. In our series of 13 cases, seven had neurological involvement. Neurological manifestations included meningoencephalitis or meningoencephalomyelitis in four cases, cerebral venous thrombosis in one case and peripheral neuropathy in two cases associated with myositis in one. Patients received treatment with colchicine (n=7), corticosteroids (n=6), immunosuppressive therapy (azathioprine and/or cyclophosphamide; n=4), acetylsalicylic acid (n=2) and oral anticoagulation for venous thrombosis (n=1). Long-term sequelae occurred only in patients with recurrent neurological disease. This study suggests that the frequency of BD in this Afro-Caribbean population is higher than this reported in Caucasian populations. Meningoencephalitis is associated with a poor prognosis while other patients achieved recovery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Behcet Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Caribbean Region
  • Female
  • Guadeloupe
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged