Patient Experiences and Challenges in the Management of Autoinflammatory Diseases—Data from the International FMF & AID Global Association Survey

Rech J., Schett G., TUFAN A., Kuemmerle-Deschner J. B., ÖZEN S., Tascilar K., ...More

Journal of Clinical Medicine, vol.13, no.5, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/jcm13051199
  • Journal Name: Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: autoinflammatory diseases, Behcet’s disease, diagnosis, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), fatigue, misdiagnoses, pain, patient survey
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Autoinflammatory diseases (AIDs) are rare, mostly genetic diseases that affect the innate immune system and are associated with inflammatory symptoms. Both paediatric and adult patients face daily challenges related to their disease, diagnosis and subsequent treatment. For this reason, a survey was developed in collaboration between the FMF & AID Global Association and the Erlangen Center for Periodic Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases. Methods: The aim of the survey was to collect the personal assessment of affected patients with regard to their current status in terms of diagnostic timeframes, the interpretation of genetic tests, the number of misdiagnoses, and pain and fatigue despite treatment. Results: In total, data from 1043 AID patients (829 adults and 214 children/adolescents) from 52 countries were collected and analyzed. Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) (521/50%) and Behçet’s disease (311/30%) were the most frequently reported diseases. The average time to diagnosis was 3 years for children/adolescents and 14 years for adults. Prior to the diagnosis of autoinflammatory disease, patients received several misdiagnoses, including psychosomatic disorders. The vast majority of patients reported that genetic testing was available (92%), but only 69% were tested. A total of 217 patients reported that no increase in acute-phase reactants was detected during their disease episodes. The intensity of pain and fatigue was measured in AID patients and found to be high. A total of 88% of respondents received treatment again, while 8% reported no treatment. Conclusions: AID patients, particularly adults, suffer from significant delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and a variety of symptoms, including pain and fatigue. Based on the results presented, raising awareness of these diseases in the wider medical community is crucial to improving patient care and quality of life.