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What is Behçet's syndrome?

Behçet's syndrome or Behçet's disease (pronounced betchets) is a condition that causes a number of symptoms, including:

  • mouth ulcers
  • genital ulcers
  • eye inflammation.

It's named after Professor Hulusi Behçet a Turkish skin specialist, who first suggested these symptoms might all be linked to a single disease. Since then it has become clear that the syndrome may be associated with many other symptoms.

A syndrome is a group of symptoms (what you experience) and signs (what the doctor finds by examining you). Doctors tend to talk of a syndrome rather than a disease when the cause linking the different features isn't known.

Although many doctors now refer to Behçet's disease, others believe that it may not be a single disease with a single cause. For this reason we use the term syndrome, but you'll often hear the term Behçet's disease used instead.

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