Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Ocular features of Behçet’s disease: An international collaborative study
  1. Nobuyoshi Kitaichi1,
  2. Akiko Miyazaki1,
  3. Daiju Iwata1,
  4. Shigeaki Ohno1,
  5. Miles R Stanford2,
  6. Hormoz Chams3
  1. 1
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
  2. 2
    Medical Eye Unit, St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3
    Behçet’s Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Teheran University for Medical Sciences, Teheran, Iran
  1. Nobuyoshi Kitaichi, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan; nobukita{at}


Objective: To investigate the clinical features of ocular lesions in Behçet’s disease in different countries.

Methods: A descriptive questionnaire survey was performed.

Results: 25 eye centres in 14 countries returned questionnaires on prevalent cases in 2006. Clinical data were analysed on 1,465 patients with ocular lesions. Recurrent oral aphthous ulcers were reported in 94.5%, skin lesions in 69.5% and genital ulcers in 61.4%. Most of the patients had bilateral and recurrent intraocular inflammation. Poor visual acuity was seen in 18.9% in women, but 24.8% in men (p<0.01). Panuveitis was seen more in men than in women (p<0.01). 23% of the patients had visual acuity equal to or worse than 20/200 at the final visit. The patients with poor vision were more frequently in India, Iran and Japan than in other countries (p<0.01).

Conclusions: We report the largest contemporary international case series of patients with ocular involvement in Behçet’s disease. Panuveitis was significantly more frequent in men than women, and men tended to have a worse visual prognosis. There were some differences in the clinical pattern of Behçet’s disease in different countries. Despite modern treatment, the disease still carries a poor visual prognosis with one-quarter of the patients blind.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Japan, and a Grant for Research on Sensory and Communicative Disorders from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan.

  • Abbreviations:

    combined anterior and posterior segment intraocular inflammation