Behçet’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that damages blood vessels. Symptoms include mouth and genital sores, joint pain, and inflammation of the eye (uveitis). Vasculitis is a rare condition and can be a primary process, or secondary to another underlying disease or autoimmune condition. Vasculitis can affect people of any age, but some types occur more in certain age groups and ethnicities.

Behçet’s disease (or syndrome) is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory condition caused by vasculitis (an inflammation, or swelling, of the blood vessels) that results in damage to both arteries and veins. Where the disease strikes in the body is different for each person. The cause of Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease is unknown.

For more information on Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease, visit the Vasculitis Foundation at

Symptoms of Vasculitis and Behçet’s Disease:

  • Sores in the mouth and/or genital area that keep coming back
  • Skin and joint pain
  • Inflammation in the eyes

The brain, nerves, intestinal tract, and kidneys can also be involved.

Diagnosis of Vasculitis and Behçet’s Disease:

There is no single laboratory test that can diagnose Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease. The diagnosis is primarily based on signs and symptoms. Nearly everyone with this condition develops mouth sores that recur at least three times in 12 months.

In order to make a clear diagnosis, it is necessary to rule out other illnesses that may also produce mouth sores and imitate the disease, such as systemic lupus, Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory condition of the intestines) and other forms of vasculitis. HLA B 51 is a genetic marker that can sometime be present in patients with Behçet’s syndrome.

Additional testing can be directed by a rheumatologist, and depending on pretest probability might include:

  • ANA (Anti-nuclear antibodies)     
  • Complement levels
  • ESR
  • CRP
  • ANCA
  • EMG/ NCS (electromyography/nerve conduction studies),
  • Imaging including MRI/MRA or ultrasound
  • Arteriography
  • Tissue biopsy

Treatment of Vasculitis and Behçet’s Disease:

The goal of treatment is to induce remission, to minimize drug toxicity and to monitor for signs of recurrence.

Different drugs are used to treat Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease, depending on the severity of the illness as well as what organs are affected:

Topical or Oral medications might include:

  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are the main treatment. These drugs suppress inflammation and immune function.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys) may help with mouth and genital sores.
  • Other drugs that suppress the immune system, such as: methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo), azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar); and anti-TNF biologics, such as infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel), are useful in more severe cases.
  • Recently, Apremilast (Otezla), an oral medication (taken by mouth), was found to be effective in controlling mouth ulcers in Behçet’s disease.

AZIV Infusion provides the following biologic injections and infusions in a convenient and comfortable setting for patients seeking treatment for Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease, including:

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