What is familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)?

Updated: May 14, 2018
  • Author: John O Meyerhoff, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is also called recurrent polyserositis. The salient features of FMF include brief recurrent episodes of peritonitis, pleuritis, and arthritis, usually with accompanying fever. See Presentation. As the name indicates, FMF occurs within families and is much more common in individuals of Mediterranean descent than in persons of any other ethnicity. [1]

Genetic testing is now available for FMF. Testing for a limited number of genes may be appropriate in patients with a known ethnic background. See Workup.

Colchicine is extremely effective in preventing attacks of FMF and preventing the development of amyloidosis. Biologic agents (eg, anakinra, rilonacept, canakinumab) are used for second-line therapy. See Treatment and Medication.


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