Familial Mediterranean Fever

Udi Nussinovitch*, Avi Livneh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a recessively inherited chronic inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent episodes of febrile sterile polyserositis. It is associated with a mutation in the MEFV gene, encoding pyrin, an immune-regulatory protein. It has been shown repetitively that in chronic inflammatory diseases, the inflammatory burden is associated with an increased rate of atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, the association between FMF, a paradigm for inflammation, and increased rate of ischemic heart disease is doubtful. Moreover, some studies have suggested the presence of electrocardiographic markers, implying an increased risk in FMF for developing ventricular or supraventricular arrhythmias. However these findings are also debatable due to other studies with conflicting results and the lack of any evidence for increased rate of arrhythmias. Another mode of cardiac involvement in FMF is inflammation of the pericardium, which may rarely be complicated by large pericardial effusion and constrictive pericarditis. Finally, reactive amyloidosis, which is the most devastating complication of FMF, and appears almost exclusively in colchicine untreated patients, may on rare occasions involve the heart, mainly with diastolic dysfunction. Herein, we review all published data on predictors and actual findings of cardiac disease in FMF and discuss the cardiovascular effects of the mutated MEFV gene.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Heart in Rheumatic, Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases
Subtitle of host publicationPathophysiology, Clinical Aspects and Therapeutic Approaches
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9780128032688
ISBN (Print)9780128032671
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2017


  • Amyloidosis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Colchicine
  • Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
  • Heart failure
  • Inflammation
  • Ischemic heart disease


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