Behçet's disease induced by interferon therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia

J Rheumatol. 1995 Jun;22(6):1183-4.


A 59-year-old Japanese woman, diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), developed several characteristic features of Behçet's disease (BD) after receiving alpha-interferon (IFN-alpha). She displayed recurrent oral aphtha, genital ulceration, erythema nodosum at the bilateral arm, and low grade fever. The skin of the femur where the IFN-alpha was injected showed modular acneiform changes. Skin biopsy revealed perivascular infiltration. The symptoms compatible with BD improved after discontinuation of IFN-alpha and the introduction of prednisolone and azathioprine. This is the first description of BD induced by IFN-alpha.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Behcet Syndrome / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects*
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / complications
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease / complications
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Azathioprine
  • Prednisone