The pathergy test and Behcet's syndrome in Britain

J. N. Fordham, J. R. Kirwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Skin hypersensitivity to needle puncture (pathergy test) together with a positive HLA B5 antigen has been reported as a diagnostic test for Behcet's syndrome (BS) in Turkish patients. We studied the pathergy test by 2 methods in 7 healthy volunteers who have the HLA B5 (Bw51 split) antigen and 19 patients with BS. The test was negative in all normal volunteers, and only one of the 19 patients with BS had a positive by one of the 2 methods. Cluster analysis of our patients and those reported from Turkey showed no difference in their clinical features. The positivity of the pathergy test, and hence its diagnostic usefulness, seem to differ between Britain and Turkey, and we conclude that this difference is not related to the possession of the HLA B5 (Bw51 split) antigen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984


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