Results And Discussion

Until the mid 1980's, 20 to 35 new patients visited our clinic each year. However, after 1987, only about 10 new patients visited our clinic each year.

Thus, the number of new patients has obviously been declining recently. The etiological incidence of Behget's disease in endogenous uveitis was 32.2% in 1981. Behget's disease was the most frequently encountered form of endogenous uveitis at our clinic by 1999. However, it only accounted for 19.0% in 2000, whereas sarcoidosis accounted for 20.3%.

In the recent study, oral aphthae were seen in 99%, eye lesions in 73%, skin lesions in 80%, and genital ulcers in 59% of the patients. The patients with all 4 major symptoms were classified under the complete type. In the recent study, 29% of the patients were classified as having the complete type, and 71 % of the patients as having the incomplete type. The ratio of patients with the complete type has decreased in comparison with the previous study. This tendency was particularly marked in male patients. The ratio of male patients with the complete type was 56% in the previous study, while it was only 16% in the recent study.

We evaluated the visual prognosis of the patients who had been attending follow-up sessions for at least 5 years at our clinic. The visual prognosis of patients who first visited our clinic between 1985 and 1994 and that of patients who first visited our clinic between 1975 and 1979 were compared. Behget's disease is a chronic disease. Therefore, a 5-year follow-up is the minimum necessary for evaluating visual prognosis. In 1984 cyclosporine was introduced to Japan for the treatment of patients with Behget's disease. Therefore, therapy differed between the 2 groups. In the recent study, 30% of patients was given cyclosporine. The visual prognosis in recent cases looks better than that in previous cases after 5 years of observation. In any case, the visual acuity of 27% of patients' eyes fell to 0.1 or less after 5 years in the recent study. The visual acuity of female patients was much better than that of male patients. Only 16% of patients' eyes showed a visual acuity at 0.1 or less after 5 years in the recent study. This result is almost identical with that from the previous study.

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