gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Behcet's disease: successfull response of ocular and cerebral involvement to interferon alpha treatment

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author T. Neß - Universitäts-Augenklinik Freiburg
  • S. Beck - Neurologische Universitätsklinik Freiburg, Freiburg

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 207

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Neß et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Ocular involvement in Behcet's disease is very frequent. Mostly, visual acuity is reduced due to retinal vasculitis and cystoid macular edema. Recently, interferon alpha was found a very effective alternative in therapy of ocular involvement. There is no report about the effect in cerebral involvement in Behcet's disease.

Case report

We report about a 24 year old male patient suffering from cerebral and bilateral retinal vasculitis due to Behcet's disease. In the beginning of 2003 we saw the patient for the first time. He had oral and genital aphthosis and HLA B51 was positive. There were bilateral papillitis, slight vitritis and macular edema. Systemic therapy with steroids lead to minor improvement of visual acuity from 0,2/0,2 to 0,5/0,1. Next consultation was 1 year later. Visual acuity was 0,3/0,4. Additionally, the patient suffered from paresis of the left abducens nerve due to MRT proven brain stem involvement (medulla oblongata, pons). Cerebo-spinal fluid contained granulocytes. Fluorescein angiography revealed severe retinal vasculitis and macular edema. We decided to start interferon alpha therapy. A few days later visual acuity rose to 0,8/0,6 and paresis of the aducens nerve improved slowly.


The efficiency of interferon therapy in retinal vasculitis in Behcet's disease could be confirmed. Furthermore, interferon alpha might be an efficient alternative in cerebral involvement.