The prevalence of Behçet's disease is the highest in the East Asian and the Mediterranean countries. Behçet's disease is also distributed in the Asian countries, but the nationwide survey has not been performed in Korea yet. The Korean Study Group for Behçet's Disease, founded in 1999, conducted a multicenter, retrospective survey on epidemiologic and clinical features of the patients with Behçet's disease from 20 hospitals around the nation from 1997 to 1999. Of 3,497 patients, 1,527 were classified into complete or incomplete type of Behçet's disease according to the revised Shimizu's classification. The sex ratio was 1:1.75 with the female predominance. Geographical distribution showed the highest frequency in Seoul (38.5%). Clinically, 98.8% had oral ulcers, 83.2% had genital ulcers, 84.3% had skin lesions and 50.9% had ocular lesions. As for the minor clinical manifestations, articular symptoms were the most frequent. The pathergy test showed positive in 15.4% of patients and revealed a higher positive rate in males (20.2%) than in females (12.7%). In conclusion, we performed the first multicenter study on Behçet's disease in Korea and revealed the female predominance, higher frequency of ocular lesions, and lower positivity of pathergy test in the patients.
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