Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF)
Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team
What is Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)?
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a hereditary inflammatory condition. It mostly affects people of Mediterranean origin. These people may include Greeks, Italians, Armenians, Sephardic Jews, and Arabs. People with FMF may have recurrent episodes of fever. They may also have stomach, joint, muscle, or chest pain. It can affect other parts of the body as well. The first episode often appears when the person is a child or in their teen years. Diagnosis is based on medical history and genetic tests. Blood tests during an attack may also help in diagnosis. This condition is often treated with a drug called colchicine. There's no cure for the condition, but this drug helps reduce the attacks.
What are risk factors for familial Mediterranean fever?
This condition mostly affects people from countries around the Mediterranean sea. People with North African or Middle Eastern roots are also more likely to be affected. Rare cases have been found in other ethnicities as well. FMF is a genetic condition. This means it may be passed down from family members.
What are symptoms of familial Mediterranean fever?
Recurrent episodes of fever are the most typical symptom of FMF. Other symptoms, such as stomach pain, or pain in the joints, muscles, or chest, are also typical. Other parts of the body may be affected as well. The first episode of FMF typically appears in childhood or the teen years.
How is familial Mediterranean fever diagnosed?
Diagnosis is based on a medical history and genetic tests. A healthcare professional may also do blood tests during an attack. FMF is often suspected in people that come from ethnic groups where it's more common.
How is familial Mediterranean fever treated?
Even though the attacks are self-limiting, painkillers may be needed. Some drugs can also help reduce the number of attacks. A drug called colchicine is often used for this reason.
What is the outlook for familial Mediterranean fever?
FMF does not have a cure. However, treatment can help to reduce the attacks of inflammation.