Hulusi Behcet

Hulusi Behget (1889-1948) (Fig. 3) was the first director of the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the medical faculty of the University of Istanbul, which was established in 1933. He was named "Professor" in 193912,13. Between 1918-19 he specialized in dermatology in Budapest (Prof. Sellei) and Berlin (Prof. Arndt). Together with Prof. Braun, Director of the Institute of Microbiology, University of Istanbul, he presented a 34-year-old female patient suffering from recurrent oral aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, and ocular lesions for 7 years at the meeting of the Dermatological Association of Istanbul on May 11, 1937. This patient together with a 40-year-old man with a disease history of over 20 years was published by Behget in the same year14. The microscopic Giemsa preparation from an oral ulcer of the first patient showed structures whose size corresponded to smallpox elementary bodies and, therefore, Behget initiated the hypothesis of the viral etiology of the syndrome15. During the following 3 years he published on 5 further patients in different languages15-19. In these publications he added periodontitis, jaw cysts, acneiform skin lesions, erythema nodosum, and arthralgia to the so-called "triple symptom complex". He was convinced of the autonomy of this multi-symptomatic illness as well as of its viral etiology, finally drawing the attention of the scientific community to this puzzling disease.

Behcet Disease Skin
Figure 3. Hulusi Behcet (1889-1948)

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