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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Nov;41(11):1299-304.

HLA genotyping is useful in the evaluation of the risk for coeliac disease in the 1st-degree relatives of patients with coeliac disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Kuopio and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.



Coeliac disease (CD) is a common disease with a strong heredity. About 10-20% of 1st-degree relatives of probands develop CD. Relatives should be screened for CD, because if not treated, CD exposes patients to numerous complications. The heterogeneity of symptoms and the lifetime-spanning risk of CD render the timing of CD antibody and/or gastroscopy screenings difficult. As CD susceptibility has been shown to be strongly associated with the HLA alleles DQA1*0501 and DQB1*0201 (together encoding the DQ2 heterodimer) and DRB1*04 (associated with the DQ8 heterodimer), our aim was to investigate whether HLA genotyping might be useful in the identification of 1st-degree relatives of CD patients who do not need further screening for CD.


The study comprised 54 Finnish CD families including 54 CD probands and 382 living 1st-degree relatives. All subjects who were willing to participate were screened for CD (duodenal and skin biopsies; endomysial, reticulin and gliadin antibodies). The DQA1*0501, DQB1*0201 and DRB1*04 allele frequencies of CD patients and the 1st-degree relatives were determined.


Altogether 17.6% (5.9% of the parents, 15.7% of the siblings, 25.8% of the offspring) of the investigated 1st-degree relatives (n = 245) did not carry any of the alleles studied. All of the CD patients (n = 136) with the exception of one (0.7%) carried at least one of the alleles investigated.


By using the HLA genotyping a considerable proportion of 1st-degree relatives of CD probands could be excluded from further screening for CD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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