Behcet's Disease

Submitted by jacksonn1 on Mon, 01/30/2023 - 19:09

Behcet’s Disease (BD), or Silk Road Disease, is s systemic vascular disease that affects many different organ systems in the body. It generally causes an inflammation of blood vessels in the body, which can lead to various symptoms. It is commonly seen as a triad of oral aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, and ocular disease. The overall cause of this disease is unknown, but some speculate that it is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks itself.

Behcet's Disease(Silk Road Disease) | Arizona RETINA Project

With inflammation of the blood vessels, it is likely that one can experience redness, pain, and swelling throughout the body. Specifically in the eyes though, it can cause anterior and/or posterior uveitis. This is when there is inflammation in the front or the back of the eye, respectively. Anterior uveitis causes pain, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and tearing of the eye. With posterior uveitis, it is more dangerous for vision as it causes fewer symptoms, but it damages the retina, which can lead to partial or complete blindness.

How to spot uveitis

Other ocular manifestations of this disease include transient hypopyon in some cases. This is an accumulation of white blood cells in the anterior chamber of the eye due to inflammation. Common symptoms resulting from this include similar redness, tearing, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. It has commonly been found that if a patient shakes their head, the accumulation disperses though.

Hypopyon - JETem

When diagnosed with Behcet’s, it is advised to regularly meet with an ophthalmologist to monitor the progression of the disease. Treatment for eye problems concerning Behcet’s includes taking azathioprine and corticosteroid tablets. Azathioprine is an immunosuppressant, so with the idea that this disease is autoimmune, it is meant to help calm the immune system to prevent it from attacking the body. Corticosteroids are used for a similar reason.