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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1460491, 11 pages
Review Article

Update on the Medical Management of Gastrointestinal Behçet’s Disease

1Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Rheumatology Unit, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
2Institute of Pediatrics, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy
3Department of Ophthalmology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, Rozzano, 20089 Milan, Italy
4Ophthalmology and Neurosurgery Department, University of Siena, Viale Bracci 1, 53100 Siena, Italy
5Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
6Research Center of Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases and Behçet’s Disease Clinic, Department of Medical Sciences, Surgery and Neurosciences, University of Siena, Viale Bracci 1, 53100 Siena, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Luca Cantarini; moc.liamtoh@aculiniratnac

Received 14 September 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 22 January 2017

Academic Editor: Ronald Gladue

Copyright © 2017 Giuseppe Lopalco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Behçet’s disease (BD) is a multisystemic disorder of unknown etiology mainly defined by recurrent oral aphthosis, genital ulcers, and chronic relapsing bilateral uveitis, all of which represent the “stigmata” of disease. However, many other organs including the vascular, neurological, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal systems can be affected. The gastrointestinal involvement in Behçet’s disease (GIBD), along with the neurological and vascular ones, represents the most feared clinical manifestation of BD and shares many symptoms with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Consequently, the differential diagnosis is often a daunting task, albeit the presence of typical endoscopic and pathologic findings may be a valuable aid to the exact diagnosis. To date, there are no standardized medical treatments for GIBD; therefore therapy should be tailored to the single patient and based on the severity of the clinical features and their complications. This work provides a digest of all current experience and evidence about pharmacological agents suggested by the medical literature as having a potential role for managing the dreadful features of GIBD.