The clinical, ethnic, and genetic features of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) suggest that this disease is due to an inborn error of metabolism. It is particularly important to identify phenotypic specificity of certain clinical patterns because the underlying biochemical deviation of FMF remains to be discovered and because a specific diagnostic test is not available. Some progress in this direction has already been achieved since it is now possible to correctly identify those patients who have succumbed to renal amyloidosis without having suffered any other manifestations of the disease. Joint involvement constitutes a cardinal feature, but is the arthritis characteristic enough to be considered a recognizable entity exclusive of other features of the syndrome?
Heller and associates1 have recently described a pattern of articular manifestations in FMF. A group of 34 living patients in whom particularly prominent joint manifestations were noted served as a basis for this study. The