Vascular involvement in Behçet's syndrome: a retrospective analysis of associations and the time course

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Nov;53(11):2018-22. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu233. Epub 2014 Jun 6.


Objective: Some features of Behçet's syndrome (BS) tend to go together. We aimed to explore the association and timing of various vascular events in both the venous and the arterial vascular tree.

Methods: We conducted a chart survey on the type and time of vascular involvement of BS. The cross-relationships of involvement were assessed by phi correlation coefficients. Multiple correspondence analysis was used to identify patterns of vascular involvement. The risk of vascular recurrence was also estimated.

Results: We identified 882 patients with vascular involvement among 5970 BS patients (14.7%). Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), almost always in the legs, was the most frequent single vascular event (592/882; 67.1%). The cumulative risk of a recurrent vascular event was 38.4% at 5 years. Patients with extrapulmonary artery involvement (EPAI) were significantly older than those with venous and pulmonary artery involvement (PAI). There were significant correlations between dural sinus thrombosis (DST) and PAI, Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) and inferior vena cava syndrome (IVCS) and between IVCS and superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS). Multiple correspondence analysis further indicated clustering of PAI, DST, BCS, IVCS and SVCS. However, EPAI and DVT clustered separately from forms of vascular disease, the separate clustering of the DVT being attributed to its propensity to occur solo.

Conclusion: The most common type of vascular involvement in BS is solo DVT, almost always occurring in the legs. Various forms of venous disease in BS segregate together and PAI is included in this group. EPAI segregates separately.

Keywords: Behçet’s syndrome; arterial aneurysm; dural sinus thrombosis; pulmonary artery aneurysm; venous thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Aneurysm / etiology*
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Artery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Young Adult