COMMON FEMORAL VEIN WALL THICKNESS MEASUREMENT AS A DIAGNOSTIC TEST IN SUSPECTED BEHÇET’S DISEASE
Authors: Fatma Alibaz-Öner et al.
Due to the lack of pathognomonic findings, the diagnosis of Behçet’s disease (BD) is still based on multi-systemic clinical manifestations. It was recently published that Doppler US showing increased venous wall thickness (VWT) of lower extremity veins in male BD patients (cut-off value of ≥0.5 mm for common femoral vein (CFV) thickness) had a high specificity and sensitivity for the diagnosis of BD. In this study 51 patients were recruited from Behçet’s Clinic of Marmara University. Bilateral CFV wall thickness was measured in the prone position from the posterior wall by an experienced radiologist blinded to the clinical data.
The mean age of suspected BD patients was 39 years (SD: 10.9), and the mean disease duration was 60.3 (SD: 51.7) months. 42 (82.4%) had major organ involvement (20 vascular, 8 ocular, 8 neurological involvement). The mean right CFV (R-CFV) wall thickness was 0.71 (SD: 0.16) mm, the left CFV (L-CFV) wall thickness was 0.71 (SD: 0.15) mm in the study group. Bilateral CFV thickness was significantly higher than age-sex-matched healthy controls (p< 0.001 for both). There was no difference between patients with and without vascular involvement. 48 (94.1%) patients had CFV wall thickness above the cut-off value of ≥ 0.5 mm.
Although the study was performed in male patients with known BD, the data indicate that Doppler US may become a simple tool to help diagnosing BD. Yet, many questions remain unanswered. Is increased venous wall thickness a sign of disease activity or disease damage? Is there a correlation with thrombosis? Are there associations with other disease manifestations, particularly early manifestations such as bipolar aphthae and skin manifestations?