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May 1965

The Gastrointestinal System in Familial Mediterranean Fever

Author Affiliations

From the National Institutes of Health. Head, Clinical Physiology Section, Laboratory of Clinical Investigations, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Dr. Wolff); Chief, Diagnostic Radiology Department, Clinical Center (Dr. Hathaway); Chief, Gastroenterology Unit, National Institutes of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (Dr. Laster).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(5):565-568. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860170047011

FAMILIAL Mediterranean fever (FMF, familial recurring polyserositis) is a disease of unknown etiology characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and inflammation of one or more of the serosal membranes. The serositis usually manifests itself as peritonitis, pleuritis, or both, with the former being much more common.1 Recently a patient has been reported who had steatorrhea which increased during the episodes of peritonitis.2 Despite the fact that the gastrointestinal tract is frequently affected in FMF, detailed studies of this system have not been presented. This report describes studies of some aspects of gastrointestinal function in such patients.

Materials and Methods  Each of the five patients studied had the characteristic history and physical signs of FMF.1 They had experienced recurrent episodes of fever and peritonitis for 4 to 32 years. None had clinical or laboratory evidence of amyloidosis. The age, sex, duration of illness, and ethnic derivation of the