0
Communications to the Editor |

Some Historical Notes on Behçet’s Disease FREE TO VIEW

Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

George Washington University Washington, DC

Correspondence to: Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP, Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037-3201



Chest. 2001;119(2):667-668. doi:10.1378/chest.119.2.667-a
Text Size: A A A
Published online

To the Editor:

I read with interest the review article (August 2000) on intracardiac thrombus in Behçet’s disease (BD) by Mogulkoc et al.1 Having recently returned from a visit to Turkey and Greece, I would like to make some comments, especially from the historical point of view.

First, Hulusi Behçet was a Turkish dermatologist from Istanbul (1889–1948). To commemorate his contribution to the syndrome that now bears his name, the University of Istanbul, where I served as a Visiting Professor during my recent visit, named the medical library after him (Fig 1).

Second, having visited the island of Kos, the birthplace of Hippocrates, during my visit to Greece, where I served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Athens, I came to recognize that the first description of the symptomatology of BD was actually reported by Hippocrates.2In fifth century BC, Hippocrates wrote in his third book of epidemiology3:

There were other forms of fever …. Many developed aphthae, ulcerations. Many ulcerations about the genital parts …. Watery ophthalmies of a chronic character, with pains; fungus excretions of the eyelids externally, internally, which destroyed the sight of many persons …. There were fungous growths on ulcers, and on those localized on the genital organs. Many anthraxes through the summer …. other great affections; many large herpetes.

Third, although Mogulkoc et al1 did not mention mitral valve prolapse (MVP) in their article, there is a high incidence of MVP in patients with BD, occurring in 50% of cases.45 The association of MVP and BD was first reported in China.56 Shen et al,5 from Shanghai, China, postulated that MVP may have been the result of structural damage and functional derangement caused by the underlying vasculitis of BD. Whereas the association of MVP and BD may be either causally related or coincidental, it is important to keep in mind that, although BD is relatively rare in the United States, MVP is very common.

BD occurs most frequently in Japan and in the Mediterranean countries, and also in the population linking these two areas to each other. It occurs most frequently between latitudes 30° and 45° north, in Asian and Eurasian populations. This area coincides with the old Silk Route. Thus, BD is often also called “Silk Route disease.”6

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1. In front of the Hulusi Behçet’s Library of the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, University of Istanbul, the author (right) stands with the smiling Professor Faruk Erzengin, Dean, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.Grahic Jump Location

References

Mogulkoc, N, Burgess, MI, Bishop, PW (2000) Intracardiac thrombus in Behçet’s disease: a systematic reviewChest118,479-487. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO Behçet’s disease [letter]. N Engl J Med. 2000;;342 ,.:588
 
Kaklamani, VG, Vaiopoulos, G, Kaklamanis, PG Behçet’s diseaseSemin Arthritis Rheum1998;27,197-217. [CrossRef]
 
Morelli, S, Perrone, C, Ferrante, L, et al Cardiac involvement in Behçet’s diseaseCardiology1997;88,513-517. [CrossRef]
 
Shen, L-L, Cui, G-G, Liang, R-L Valve prolapse in Behçet’s disease.Br Heart J1985;54,100-101. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO Behçet’s disease (“Silk Route disease”) and mitral valve prolapse [letter]. Cardiology. 1998;;89 ,.:306. [CrossRef]
 

Figures

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1. In front of the Hulusi Behçet’s Library of the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, University of Istanbul, the author (right) stands with the smiling Professor Faruk Erzengin, Dean, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.Grahic Jump Location

Tables

References

Mogulkoc, N, Burgess, MI, Bishop, PW (2000) Intracardiac thrombus in Behçet’s disease: a systematic reviewChest118,479-487. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO Behçet’s disease [letter]. N Engl J Med. 2000;;342 ,.:588
 
Kaklamani, VG, Vaiopoulos, G, Kaklamanis, PG Behçet’s diseaseSemin Arthritis Rheum1998;27,197-217. [CrossRef]
 
Morelli, S, Perrone, C, Ferrante, L, et al Cardiac involvement in Behçet’s diseaseCardiology1997;88,513-517. [CrossRef]
 
Shen, L-L, Cui, G-G, Liang, R-L Valve prolapse in Behçet’s disease.Br Heart J1985;54,100-101. [CrossRef]
 
Cheng, TO Behçet’s disease (“Silk Route disease”) and mitral valve prolapse [letter]. Cardiology. 1998;;89 ,.:306. [CrossRef]
 
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543