Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF)
The Section Clinical Tropical Medicine has been offering consultation in the field of FMF for over 10 years now in close cooperation with Prof. E. Ben-Chetrit, a renowned FMF specialist from Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. There is an interdisciplinary cooperation with the Rheumatology section of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Rheumatology section of the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine.
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a monogenic autoinflammatory disease, which is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. The condition mostly affects individuals of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent (e.g. from Turkey, Israel, Armenia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon). Over 50% experience their first symptoms before 10 years of age and in approx. 90%, the disease begins before 20 years of age. It is characterised by recurrent episodes of fever accompanied by abdominal, chest or joint pain. Symptoms are due to recurrent inflammation of the peritoneum, pleura or synovia (joints), generally resolving within 3 days without treatment. The major complication of FMF is kidney failure due to inflammatory protein (amyloid) deposits. Early treatment with colchicine can prevent inflammatory attacks as well as complications of the disease. FMF diagnosis relies on clinical criteria, i.e. the patient’s descent and recurrent inflammatory attacks. In patients with symptoms characteristic of FMF, genetic testing should be performed.