[Familial Mediterranean fever: not to be missed].

Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde (2013-05-03)
Joost Frenkel, Frederike J Bemelman, Bert-Jan Potter van Loon, Anna Simon

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is common among Turkish and Moroccan migrants. We describe three patients with FMF. A 3-year-old girl with recurrent fever and abdominal pain who was diagnosed early with FMF and treated effectively with colchicine. An adolescent girl who required interleukin (IL)-1 blockade to achieve disease remission. And a 37-year-old woman in whom the attacks of FMF had not been recognised, but who developed end-stage kidney failure due to AA amyloidosis. Mutations in the MEFV gene underlie the disease in most but not all patients. Therefore, FMF remains a clinical diagnosis. FMF patients suffer recurrent bouts of inflammation, often with fever, serositis or arthritis. The major complication is AA amyloidosis. The inflammatory process is mediated by IL-1β. When started early, colchicine prophylaxis can prevent amyloidosis. When colchicine fails, IL-1 blockade has shown promising results. Timely diagnosis and treatment can make the difference between near normal health and end-stage kidney failure.