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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(1-2):131-7.

Lack of association between seroconversion and catch-up growth in children with celiac disease.

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  • 1Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.



To assess the association between seroconversion and catch-up growth during the first year of a gluten-free diet (GFD) program in children with celiac disease (CD).


All prepubertal and biopsy-proven children diagnosed with CD between January 1999 and August 2009 were included in a retrospective study (n=55). Growth parameters and celiac antibodies were documented before and after 6 (period 1) and 12 months (period 2) of GFD, respectively.


Mean height velocity-standard deviation score (SDS) was significantly higher in period 1 compared with that in period 2 (2.90 +/- 3.20 vs. 0.20 +/- 2.08, p<0.001) irrespective of the serology status, with marginal difference in mean weight-SDS gain (p=0.074). Mean levels of height velocity-SDS and the weight-SDS gain were similar in the seropositive and seronegative groups in both periods of the study. Mean height-SDS and weight-SDS levels after 6 months were higher than those in baseline levels, both in seropositive (-0.47 +/- 0.91 vs. -0.82 +/- 0.82, p<0.001 and -0.59 +/- 1.17 vs. -1.11 +/- 1.33, p<0.001, respectively) and seronegative patients (-1.02 +/- 1.14 vs. -1.50 +/- 1.12, p<0.001 and -1.19 +/- 1.27 vs. -1.45 +/- 1.40, p=0.048, respectively). These growth parameters were higher at the end compared with the beginning of period 2, but only in seropositive patients.


The most remarkable catch-up growth in children with CD can be expected during the first 6 months of GFD, irrespective of the serology status.

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