Chronic inflammation in adult familial Mediterranean fever patients: underlying causes and association with amyloidosis

Varan O., Kucuk H., Babaoglu H., Tecer D., Atas N., Salman R. B., ...More

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.48, no.4, pp.315-319, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background: Chronic inflammation, as determined by persistently elevated acute-phase reactants in attack-free periods, can occasionally be observed in patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and is suggested to be a risk factor for the development of amyloidosis. We aimed to investigate the underlying causes of chronic inflammation in FMF patients and its association with amyloidosis in long-term follow-up.Method: Electronic medical records of FMF patients who had regular follow-up for >= 5years in our cohort were utilized. As part of routine evaluation, detailed history, physical examination, and pertinent laboratory and radiographic investigations were performed in all patients to determine potential causes of elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.Results: The study included 146 FMF patients who had no evidence of amyloidosis at baseline and had regular follow-up for >= 5years. Thirty-seven patients (25.3%) were found to have chronic inflammation in the disease course. Twenty-five (67.5%) of them had either very frequent attacks or chronic manifestations of disease. In the entire study group, amyloidosis developed in five patients (3.42%) during the 5 year follow-up, four in the FMF with chronic inflammation group (10.8%), and only one of the 109 patients without chronic inflammation (odds ratio 13.09, 95% confidence interval 1.41-121.2).Conclusions: The results suggest that persistently high CRP levels during the attack-free periods may be a strong risk factor for the development of amyloidosis in patients with FMF. The vast majority of FMF patients with chronic inflammation had active FMF.