Background. Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is the earliest described and most prevalent hereditary auto-inflammatory disease. Its clinical presentation is diverse, leading to possible delay in diagnosis and treatment. Due to immigration, FMF became common in non-Mediterranean European regions. In the present single centre retrospective study, the clinical, demographic, and genetic characteristics of patients with FMF of different ancestry in Amsterdam are described.
Methods. Case records of patients with FMF, who met the Tel-Hashomer diagnostic criteria, were retrospectively analysed. The international disease severity score was used.
Results. Between 1990-2012, 53 patients were identified, 28 were female. Main country of origin was Turkey. The mean age at the time of analysis was 29.1 years; 13.8 years at onset of symptoms; and at time of diagnosis, 22.0 years. Most frequent symptoms were peritonitis (91%) and fever (81%). The mean C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate during acute attacks were 133 mg/l and 37 mm/first hour, respectively. One patient developed amyloidosis as a complication. Seventeen patients underwent abdominal surgery before diagnosis. Most patients (92%) received colchicine treatment and were responsive (81%). Most patients classified their disease as a mild disease (42%). MEFV gene mutation analysis was performed in 46 patients; most patients were compound heterozygotes (n = 17), and the most frequent mutation was M694V (n = 18).
Conclusion. FMF in Amsterdam is diagnosed in relatively young patients and the delay to diagnosis is 8.2 years. Disease manifestations and genetic distribution of our FMF patients are comparable to those in Mediterranean regions, suggesting that ancestry is more important than environment.