Aim: We aimed to describe the demographic and clinical features of Behçet’s disease (BD) in pediatric patients.
Methods: The study included 62 patients that presented to the Department of Ophthalmology at Ankara Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey and diagnosed with BD. These patients were placed into 3 age groups based on the age at the time of BD presentation: Group 1, birth-10 years old; group 2, 11-15 years old; group 3, 16-20 years old. Among these 3 age groups we sought to identify the ocular and extra-ocular clinical findings, complications of BD, and to uncover the role of gender, if exists, in the etiology of the disease.
Results: The findings indicated that gender played no significant role in the etiology of BD. In group 1 a family history of BD was more prevalent and the most common ocular finding was bilateral anterior uveitis. The most frequent form of ocular involvement in groups 2 and 3 was bilateral panuveitis with retinal vasculitis and retinitis. The majority of disease complications were glaucoma, maculopathy, and cataract formation.
Conclusion: Patient age appeared to define the type of ocular involvement in BD. While anterior uveitis was the most frequent ocular finding in BD patients younger than 10 years, panuveitis was the most frequent in patients older than 10 years. As a family history of BD was more frequent among patients younger than 10 years, family screening for BD is considered critical for early and accurate diagnosis of BD, as well as for the control of its complications.