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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;19(2):199-213.

Familial Mediterranean fever--a not so unusual cause of abdominal pain.

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Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Familial Mediterranean fever is a hereditary syndrome characterised by recurrent episodes of fever and serositis, resulting in pain in the abdomen, chest, joints and muscles. It is primarily diagnosed in people of Jewish, Arabic, Turkish or Armenian ancestry and is caused by mutations in the gene encoding for pyrin. Abdominal FMF attacks resemble the clinical presentation of 'acute abdomen', with severe abdominal pain and rigidity, but in FMF symptoms always resolve spontaneously. It is important to distinguish these regular pain episodes from small bowel obstruction due to adhesions to prevent life-threatening bowel strangulation. In most cases, colchicine will prevent new painful attacks. This seminar also discusses other causes of abdominal pain in FMF patients.

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