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Mol Biol Rep. 2011 Mar;38(3):2033-6. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0326-5. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Arthritis patterns in familial Mediterranean fever patients and association with M694V mutation.

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Clinical Genetics Unit, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department, Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, POBox 6091, Damascus, Syria.


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of febrile peritonitis, pleuritis and synovitis. Arthritis is a common and important feature of FMF. The clinical spectrum of arthritis in 71 FMF patients was retrospectively investigated. Mutations in the familial Mediterranean (MEFV) gene were screened. Unlike the previous reports on arthritis of FMF, most of the FMF patients (59%) in this study had symmetric two-joint arthritis whereas monoarticular, oligoarticular and polyarticular arthritis was presented in 20, 8 and 10% of the patients, respectively. Knees were affected in 45 (63%) patients, ankles in 30 (42%), elbows in 11 (15%), wrists in 12 (17%), hips in 12 (17%), small joints of the hands 7 (10%), small joints of the feet 2 (3%) and sacroiliac in 1 (1%). Destruction of the hip was observed in 2 (3%) patients and required hip replacement. Amyloidosis developed in 2 (3%) of our patients. Mutations in the MEFV gene were identified in 50 (71%) patients and the most dominant mutation detected was M694V (64%). Since FMF can be diagnosed by a simple DNA mutation analysis, all arthritis patients of certain origins (Arabs, Turks, Armenians and Jews) should be tested for FMF in order to prevent the complications (amyloidosis and protracted arthritis) by introducing colchicine which is the treatment of choice for FMF.

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