Last reviewed 01/2018

Behcet's syndrome is a systemic venulitis.

The aetiology of Behcet's disease is not fully understood, however, the following is known:

  • there is a strong HLA association with HLA-B51
  • HLA-B51, B12, DR2 and DR7 may influence the organs involved in the disease process
  • studies have indicated that herpes simplex virus may be of aetiological significance

There is also evidence of an association between Behcet's disease and HLA-B5 (1).


  1. Lavelle C et al. Association of Behcet's syndrome with HLA-B5 in the Mexican mestizo population. J Rheumatol. 1981 Mar-Apr;8(2):325-7.
  2. Cohen R et al. Association of the MIC-A gene and HLA-B51 with Behcet's disease in Arabs and non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel. Ann Rheum Dis. 2002 Feb;61(2):157-60.