European journal of medical research, vol.4, no.4, pp.161-164, 1999 (Scopus)
BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) and Familial mediterranean fever (FMF) are two common diseases in our region, Turkey. Both share some properties in common: Both cause AA type amyloidosis and have association with some immunological abnormalities. Upon incidentally observing Mycobacterium tuberculosis in bone marrow biopsies of three patients with FMF in a previous study, we intended to elucidate this association prospectively. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, we examined prospectively 10 FMF patients, 5 male and 5 female, with a median duration of 31 years disease activity. All were under colchicine therapy. They had no sign of renal involvement. The bone marrow biopsies of these patients were examined for the presence of M. tuberculosis by Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), BACTEC culture and pathological stains. Pathological examination was performed for the existence of granuloma and amyloid deposition by hematoxylin-eosin, Crystal Violet and Congo red stains. RESULTS: The examination of all bone marrow specimens by the mentioned methods suggest that Mycobacterium tuberculosis has no role in the ethiopathogenesis of FMF. Although the patients had a positive family history of 60% for tuberculosis and in 80% of them with positive tuberculin skin test. CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that although there seemed to be a kind of association between both diseases, this relationship is not via the direct existence of bacteria itself. Considering high family history and skin test positivity, one should look for the presence of autoimmune mechanisms under this suspicious relationship between tuberculosis and FMF. Also, this is the first study examined the state of amyloidosis in the bone marrow at an earlier stage of FMF without overt renal findings.