Adherence to best practice consensus guidelines for familial Mediterranean fever: a modified Delphi study among paediatric rheumatologists in Turkey

Rheumatol Int. 2021 Jan 16;1-8. doi: 10.1007/s00296-020-04776-1. Online ahead of print.


Background: Although not validated fully, recommendations are present for diagnosis, screening and treatment modalities of patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).

Objective: To review the current practices of clinicians regarding FMF and reveal their adherence to consensus guidelines.

Methods: Fifteen key points selected regarding the diagnosis and management of FMF were assessed by 14 paediatric rheumatologists with a three-round modified Delphi panel.

Results: Consensus was reached on the following aspects: genetic analysis should be ordered to all patients when clinical findings support FMF, but its result is not decisive alone. In the absence of clinical features, colchicine should be commenced when two pathogenic alleles and family history of amyloidosis are present. Serum amyloid A testing at each visit is recommended in patients resistant to colchicine, with subclinical inflammation and family history of amyloidosis. Consensus was reached on both the definition of colchicine resistance and starting biologic in resistant cases. Cost, efficiency, ease of use, treatment adherence, accessibility and emergence of adverse events are the factors affecting the choice of biologic agents. In patients without any attack and evidence of subclinical inflammation within the last 6 months following initiation of biologics, treatment dose intervals can be prolonged.

Conclusion: A consensus was achieved regarding the routine diagnosis and screening and treatment of FMF patients. The definition of colchicine resistance was made and a protocol was created for prolongation of treatment intervals of biologic agents. We anticipate that the results of the study reveal real-life data on the approach to patients in clinical practice.

Keywords: Biological agents; Children; Colchicine; Colchicine resistance; Delphi technique; Familial Mediterranean fever.