Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE FAMILIAL MEDITERRANEAN FEVER DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is familial Mediterranean fever?

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a condition that is characterized by paroxysmal (sudden, intense) episodes of high fever (38-40°C or 100.4-104°F) and pain in the abdomen and other body parts (such as joints), typically lasting 48 – 96 hours. An attack of FMF can resemble acute appendicitis, cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), or kidney stones, fairly common conditions that also feature fever and pain in various parts of the abdomen. FMF episodes also can produce arthritis and gastrointestinal symptoms, and a problem called amyloidosis that causes disease in organs, such as the kidneys, and is related to the presence of a substance called amyloid-A in the blood. Episodes of FMF result from an autoimmune process (inappropriate action of the body’s own immune system) that attacks the outer layers of various organs. This is an inherited condition. FMF is seen in particular ethnic groups and is based on the presence of certain genetic sequences, notably mutations within a gene called MEFV. Since FMF symptoms almost always begin prior to age 40 (and often by the teenage years), the condition can easily coincide with pregnancy.


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