What is the mortality and morbidity of 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

Nephrotic syndrome: Before the institution of colchicine therapy, mortality due to nephrotic syndrome was almost universal by age 50 years in North African Sephardic Jewish patients. Among other Sephardic Jewish, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Armenian patients, amyloidosis was extremely rare. The mortality rate among Turkish patients was high, but this high rate may have represented selection bias. No pre–colchicine-therapy data are available from Arabic patients.

Appendectomies: Many patients with undiagnosed FMF have undergone appendectomy because the severity of the peritoneal episodes seemed to indicate appendicitis.

Chronic arthritis: Approximately 5% of patients with FMF develop chronic arthritis that sometimes leads to destructive arthritis of hips or knees and may necessitate joint replacements. Approximately 10% of patients with chronic arthritis develop seronegative spondyloarthropathy.

Fertility and pregnancy: Approximately one third of female patients with FMF are infertile, and 20-30% of pregnancies result in fetal loss.


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