Summary of Familial Mediterranean Fever
Familial Mediterranean fever is a rare disease that is characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and other inflammatory symptoms. Abominal pain is often present. Attacks last for 3-4 day, after which patients recover spontaneously. FMF is a hereditary disease, predominantly affecting families of Mediterranean descent. Colchicine is an effective treatment. Treatment is important to reduce the chance of complications of FMF.
The most prevalent symptoms of FMF are fever and abdominal pain
Patients with FMF experience recurrent episodes (which are called attacks) of fever. These attacks last for 3-4 days. Fever is often accompanied by severe abdominal pain. Prior to the diagnosis of FMF, patients often have visited an emergency ward because of this pain. Some are even operated on for suspected appendicitis. At this operation only inflammation of the peritoneum and sometimes enlarged lymph nodes are found. The cause of the pain then remains unclear until FMF is diagnosed.
Other common features of FMF are:
- joint and muscle pain
- localized red skin rash
- chest pain (due to inflammation of the pleura or pericardium)
- testicular pain in ... Read more »