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Minerva Pediatr. 2003 Feb;55(1):23-31.

[Celiac disease; a world in exploration].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Celiac disease (CD) or gluten-sensitive enteropathy is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten ingestion in genetically predisposed subjects. The presence of gluten in these patients leads to a self-perpetuating mucosal damage, while the elimination of gluten results in a full mucosal recovery. The prevalence of CD in the general population is between 0.3% and 1%. The clinical manifestation of CD is variable; in addition to the classical gastrointestinal form a variety of other clinical manifestation of the disease have been described, including atypical and asymptomatic form. The diagnosis of CD is still based on the small intestinal biopsy findings, but can be suspected using serological testing, e.g. the antigliadin antibody (AGA), the antiendomysial antibody (EMA) and the anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG). The keystone treatment of CD patients is a life-long gluten-free diet.

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