Abdominal and digestive system associations of familial Mediterranean fever

Mor, Adam; Gal, Rivka; Livneh, Avi
December 2003
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Dec2003, Vol. 98 Issue 12, p2594
Academic Journal
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a hereditary epidosic febrile syndrome that is expressed by acute spells of fever, painful manifestations in the abdomen, chest and joints, and slow development of nephropathic amyloidosis. Despite the recent cloning of the FMF gene (MEFV) and the identification of about 40 disease-related mutations, the diagnosis is still clinically dependent, and the pathogenesis and most of the clinical heterogeneity remain to be explained. Because episodic abdominal pain affects 95% of FMF patients, most of them are seen by gastroenterologists and undergo complete or partial abdominal imaging before the diagnosis is made. Focusing on recent advances in FMF, this article reviews both common and infrequent manifestations that a gastroenterologist may encounter during workups of FMF patients. These include episodic abdominal pain, paralytic or mechanical ileus, constipation, diarrhea, ascites, malabsorption, bowel infarction, and bleeding, arising directly from FMF or secondary to FMF common associations such as amyloidosis, vasculitides, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or colchicine side effects. This article will help the gastroenterologist to cope with most clinical situations related to the abdominal and alimentary tract in patients with FMF.


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