Association of HLA-B5 with clinical expression and severity of Behcet's disease in Israel

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There were 55 Israeli patients with Behcet's disease (BD) included in a study conducted to determine the correlation between HLA-B5 and clinical manifestations and severity of the disease. The systemic manifestations of BD were analyzed in relation to HLA typing, and a systemic severity score for BD was calculated according to potential morbidity and mortality associated with various clinical features. Of the 55 patients, 42 (76.4%) were sephardic Jews, 2 (3.6%) were ashkenazi Jews, and 11 (20.0%) were Israeli Arabs. There were 39 (70.9%) HLA-B5 positive patients; they had a significantly higher incidence of thrombophlebitis and a lower rate of erythema nodosum. The HLA- B5-positive patients were significantly older at disease onset, and their severity score tended to be higher, although not statistically significant. The results of our study imply that HLA-B5 in Israeli patients is associated with specific clinical features, especially more vascular disease, and may be associated with a more severe course of BD. This is of general interest because American and North European patients also have less HLA-B5 and less severe disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Behcet's disease
  • Disease spectrum
  • HLA-B5
  • Severity


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