Purpose: There is little information on the demographic and clinical characteristics of Behcet's disease in children in different parts of the world. We sought to provide this information through a questionnaire survey of specialist eye centres.
Methods: Descriptive questionnaires were collected from 25 eye centers in 14 countries. The questionnaire surveyed details of juvenile-onset Behcet's disease with uveitis. Ethnic groups, clinical features, treatments, and prognosis of pediatric-age Behcet's disease were examined on a world scale.
Results: The clinical data of 135 juvenile-onset and 1,227 adult-onset patients with uveitis were collected. The average age of disease diagnosis in the children was 11.7 years old. Of the ethnic groups identified: 54% were from Middle East, 43% from Europe, but only 2% from East/South Asian countries. By contrast, 19.2% of adult patients were from East or South Asia. The frequency of genital ulcers in juvenile patients was 38.7%, which was significantly lower than in adult cases (53.5%; P<0.01).
Conclusions: Behcet's disease with uveitis was less common in children than in adults in East/South Asia. Although the clinical features of the systemic disease were similar between children and adults, there was a lower frequency of genital ulceration in children.