Crohn's Disease in Patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever
- CROHN'S DISEASE IN PATIENTS WITH FAMILIAL MEDITERRANEAN FEVERDepartment of Gastroenterology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Telhashomer, Israel. hermafidder@...Crohn disease and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) are inflammatory diseases characterized by abdominal pain and fever. The concurrence of the 2 diseases (FMF-CD) may pose a challenge to diagnosis and treatment. We undertook the present study to determine the prevalence of Crohn disease in FMF and to characterize FMF-CD patients clinically and genetically. Using a computerized search, the patients of our FMF clinic were screened for a concomitant diagnosis of Crohn disease. Patients and their medical records were thoroughly examined, and their DNA was genotyped for mutations in the MEFV gene. Control groups of ethnically and sex-matched patients suffering from each of the diseases alone, either Crohn disease or FMF, were used for comparison. We identified 7 patients with concomitant Crohn disease and FMF, which is more than the expected prevalence in the general population (p = 0.03). Crohn disease presented at a significantly later age in the FMF-CD group (40.6 +/- 10.0 yr versus 26.2 +/- 11.4 yr; p < 0.004). Disease severity and other characteristics of Crohn disease were comparable to the Crohn disease control group. Contrary to the FMF control group patients, FMF in FMF-CD patients was characterized by a higher attack frequency (p < 0.05) and increased prevalence of amyloidosis (p < 0.02). The overall severity score was similar in both groups. In conclusion, Crohn disease appears to be more prevalent in FMF and presents later than in patients without FMF. FMF in this group of patients shows a higher attack frequency and is more often complicated by amyloidosis.