International journal of STD & AIDS

Recurrent vulval ulceration: could it be Behcet's disease?

PMID 23033529


This report describes a young black Caribbean woman with a three-year history of recurrent genital ulceration initially diagnosed as genital herpes. This diagnosis had been made clinically by the general practitioner but never confirmed on culture or nucleic acid amplification testing; sequential treatment with aciclovir and famciclovir over a four-month period did not alleviate her genital symptoms. Presentation to our genitourinary (GU) medicine clinic identified painful aphthous genital and oral ulcers, erythema nodosum bilaterally and a history of eye irritation. A clinical diagnosis of Behçet's disease was made. Treatment with hydrocortisone mouth pellets and dermovate ointment was initiated in addition to dermatology and ophthalmology referral. This report reminds clinicians to consider alternative diagnoses in clinical practice when faced with patients who are resistant to treatment. It also highlights the importance of recognizing systemic disease and maintaining a holistic approach when treating patients.

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