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December 15, 1978

Familial Mediterranean Fever (Periodic Peritonitis)

Author Affiliations

Beth Israel Hospital New York

JAMA. 1978;240(25):2733. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290250037015

To the Editor.—  A patient recently described in the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section (240:575, 1978) is similar to several patients whom I have treated for familial Mediterranean fever. Recurrent pleuritic chest pain associated with fever of unkown cause beginning in the second decade of life is the hallmark of this disease.The diagnosis of familial Mediterranean fever should be suspected if the patient is of Arab, Mediterranean, or Sephardic-Jewish descent or if similar symptoms have been noted by other family members. A trial of colchicine might prove both diagnostic and therapeutic, obviating the open-lung biopsy suggested by JAMA's consultant.1