Monday, March 9, 2015

Study group discussion: Chloroquine and Behcets disease

Antimalarial that causes irreversible retinal toxicity??


Yes. It's hydroxychloroquine..!!

Also used in...??

DLE, rheumatoid arthritis!

Lepra reactions too!

Also in extra intestinal amoebiasis!

Skin lesions in dermatomyositis!

Okay, so what pathology in the eye does hydroxychloroquine cause..??

It accumulates there because of high volume of distribution?

It causes Bull's eye maculopathy..!!

And the pathogenesis?

It is said that the drug binds to melanin in the RPE, which could explain the persistent toxicity even if after discontinuation of the medication!!!

I remember the use of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) in Behcet's Disease. Follow up with eye exam every 2-3 months.

What's Behcets disease?

Behcets syndrome is inflammatory, multi system disease of small vessels resulting in frequent aneurysms and rupture..!! Eyes, genitals and mucous membranes are involved.

It takes many months to treat genital ulcers!

What is that test to confirm behcets..??

Pathergy test

Pricking the skin with a needle = pathergy test. After one or two days, people with Behçet's can develop a lump or nodule where the needle broke the skin.


I had a patient with several mouth ulcer's looking like Aphthous ulcer. No other symptoms, just episodic mouth ulcers!

Okay.. Could be due to stress and vitamin deficiency..

And it turned out to be Behçet's disease.

They have a lot Behçet's disease clinic's in Turkey! Must be genetic which is why it is so common.

The exact cause of the disease remains unclear. But Behçet's disease is thought to involve an autoimmune response. This means the body's defense mechanism begins to attack its own tissues. Something in the environment may trigger this abnormal immune response in susceptible individuals. Genetic factors may also play a role.

It is common in young men in Mediterranean area..

Our patient was a woman.

Oh nice to know, thanks!

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