Think of the family Mediterranean fever!

Despite the typical persistent symptoms, familial Mediterranean fever is often diagnosed only late. This is problematic in life-threatening amyloidosis, as long-term sequelae must be avoided with appropriate treatment.

Luis Louro/Adobe Stock

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is diagnosed with an average delay of 3-5 years. “That is, from the point of view of globalization, we need to develop awareness about this disease,” said Professor Dr. Jasmin Kümmerle-Teschner, Head of the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology and ArcT (Autoinflammation Reference Center Tübingen), to her colleagues in practice. Because FMF is more common in certain ethnic groups – especially Turkish people. Using a case study, the expert outlines a typical medical history: A 14-year-old boy has had episodes of fever lasting 3-5 days since he was 1 year old. There are also severe abdominal, joint and chest pains. Until now, episodes were dismissed as recurrent infections without evidence of a pathogen and in some cases as psychotic complaints. Inflammatory parameters (CRP and serum amyloid-A, SAA) during the investigation were increased during but also outside the febrile attack. Her brother and father have similar symptoms, and her uncle requires dialysis due to AA amyloidosis. It soon becomes clear that the young man is suffering from the family Mediterranean fever.

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