Frequency of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children with familial Mediterranean fever

  • Rabia Miray Kisla EkinciEmail author
  • Sibel Balcı
  • Eray Akay
  • Gokhan Tumgor
  • Dilek Dogruel
  • Derya Ufuk Altintas
  • Mustafa Yilmaz
Original Article



Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is characterized by self-limiting fever episodes usually accompanied by serositis, arthralgia, and arthritis. Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are diseases in which brain-gut axis and low-grade inflammation take part in pathogenesis. We aimed to study the FGIDs frequencies and possible risk factors for FGIDs in children with FMF.


This case-control study included 103 children with FMF followed up between July 2016 and July 2018 and 100 healthy controls. Age, gender, disease characteristics, and MEFV gene results were recorded retrospectively. Laboratory parameters were obtained at the time of study enrollment. Diagnosis of FGIDs was assessed with Rome IV criteria.


The mean age at study enrollment was 12.58 ± 3.79 and 9.71 ± 3.59 years in FMF and healthy control groups, respectively. Overall FGID frequency was 39.8% (n = 41) in FMF patients and 19% (n = 19) in the control group. Functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (particularly constipation predominant subtype) rates were statistically higher in the FMF group. In detail, genotype, age at onset, symptoms, colchicine duration, and colchicine responses did not differ between FMF patients in regard to having FGIDs.


This study showed that children with FMF may predispose to pain predominant FGIDs. We also suggest that FGIDs should be considered in FMF patients suffering recurrent abdominal pain episodes unaccompanied by APR elevation, which can be also named as incomplete FMF attacks.


Familial Mediterranean fever Functional dyspepsia Functional gastrointestinal disorders Irritable bowel syndrome Rome IV 


Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consents were obtained from the parents of the patients prior to the study enrollment. The study was approved by Ethics committee of our Medical Faculty.




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric RheumatologyCukurova University Faculty of MedicineAdanaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsCukurova University Faculty of MedicineAdanaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric GastroenterologyCukurova University Faculty of MedicineAdanaTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Pediatric Allergy and ImmunologyCukurova University Faculty of MedicineAdanaTurkey

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