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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Familial Mediterranean fever

Other Names for this Disease
  • Benign paroxysmal peritonitis
  • Familial paroxysmal polyserositis
  • FMF
  • Periodic disease
  • Periodic fever
More Names
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What are the signs and symptoms of Familial Mediterranean Fever?

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is characterized by relatively short, usually 1- to 3-day, episodes of fever accompanied by abdominal pain, chest pain, joint pain, pelvic pain, muscle aches, and/or a skin rash.[1] The muscle pain is often confused with fibromyalgia and the joint pain is sometimes confused with gout. The pain symptoms are usually the result of inflammation in the lining of the abdomen, lungs, joints, heart, pelvis, and/or in the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.[2] Headaches and amyloidosis may also occur.[2] The majority of patients experience their first episode by age 20.[2] The frequency of such attacks is highly variable and the interval between attacks ranges from days to years.[2] The frequency and symptoms experienced during an attack may also change over time.[2] People tend to be symptom-free between attacks.[1]
Last updated: 10/9/2013

  1. Tran M and Spencer FA. Thromboepidemiology: Identifying patients with heritable risk for thrombin-mediated thromboembolic events. American Heart Journal. 2005;
  2. Learning about Familial Mediterranean Fever. NHGRI Web site. July 2010; Accessed 1/19/2012.