Behcet's Disease Diagnosis

When making a Behcet's disease diagnosis, the doctor asks about a person's medical history and performs a physical exam, looking for signs of the disease. Symptoms that are key to diagnosing Behcet's disease include frequent mouth sores, genital sores, and a positive skin-prick test. Because it can take months or even years for all of the symptoms to appear, making a Bechet's disease diagnosis can take time.

Behcet's Disease Diagnosis: An Introduction

In order to make a Behcet's disease diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions about a person's medical history, including:
  • Current symptoms
  • Family history of any medical problems
  • Any medicines the person is taking.
The doctor will also likely perform a physical exam to look for any signs of Behcet's disease.
Diagnosing Behcet's disease is difficult, because no specific test confirms it. Less than half of patients initially thought to have Behcet's disease actually have it. Most people are diagnosed with Behcet's disease based on the key symptoms.

Key Symptoms for Diagnosing Behcet's Disease

Symptoms that are key to diagnosing Behcet's disease include mouth sores at least three times in a 12-month period and any two of the following:
  • Genital sores that disappear and reappear
  • Eye inflammation with loss of vision
  • Sores on the skin
  • Positive skin-prick test (the appearance of small red bumps when the skin is pricked with a needle).

Behcet's Disease Diagnosis or Another Condition?

Besides finding these signs, the doctor must rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as Crohn's disease and reactive arthritis, before a Behcet's disease diagnosis can be made. The doctor may also recommend that the patient see an eye specialist to identify possible complications related to eye inflammation. A dermatologist may perform a biopsy of the mouth, genital, or skin lesions to help distinguish Behcet's from other disorders.
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