Send to

Choose Destination
Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;121:1703-23. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-7020-4088-7.00110-3.

Neuro-Behçet syndrome.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Istanbul Bilim University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Neurology, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address:


Behçet syndrome (BS) is an idiopathic chronic relapsing multisystem vascular-inflammatory disease of unknown origin. As the disease affects many organs and systems and shows a wide range of clinical manifestations and presentations, it is prefereable to call Behçet's a syndrome (BS) rather than a disease. Nervous system involvement, known as "neuro-BS" (NBS), is seen in about 5-10% of all cases. Clinical and imaging evidence suggests that primary neurologic involvement in BS may be subclassified into two major forms: the first, which is seen in the majority of patients, may be characterized as a vascular-inflammatory central nervous system disease with focal or multifocal parenchymal involvement, mostly presenting with a subacute brainstem syndrome and hemiparesis (intra-axial NBS); the other, which has few symptoms and a better neurologic prognosis, may be caused by isolated cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and intracranial hypertension (extra-axial NBS), occurring in 10-20% of the cases. These two types are rarely seen in the same individual, and their pathogenesis is likely to be different. Isolated behavioral syndromes and peripheral nervous system involvement are rare, whereas a vascular type headache is relatively common and independent from neurologic involvement. Neurologic complications secondary to systemic involvement of BS, as well as neurologic complications related to BS treatments are considered as secondary neurologic involvement of the syndrome. The core histopathologic phenomenon seems to be a vasculitic involvement in some cases, and low-grade chronic nonspecific inflammation in others. As the neurologic involvement in this syndrome is so heterogeneous, it is difficult to predict its course and prognosis, and its response to treatment. Currently, treatment options for NBS are limited to attack therapies with high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone followed by a prolonged oral taper, symptomatic management, and generally the use of azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, interferon-α and anti-TNF agents for long-term preventive treatment, although there no evidence for their efficacy.


Behçet’s disease; cerebral venous sinus thrombosis; differential diagnosis; nervous system involvement; neuro-Behçet syndrome; treatment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center