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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013 Jan;56(1):56-9. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31826a1099.

Should intussusception in children prompt screening for celiac disease?

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



An association between adult celiac disease (CD) and intussusceptions (ISs) has been described. Although more common among children, intussusception has not been linked with childhood CD aside from isolated case reports. Our aim was to investigate the frequency of IS among children with CD.


A patient database containing children with biopsy-proven CD was reviewed, in addition to radiology records contained in a hospital-maintained clinical data repository.


Of 254 children with biopsy-proven CD and complete records available for review, abdominal imaging was performed in 21%, mainly because of abdominal pain. Among children with CD, 1.2% experienced an IS <9 months before their diagnosis with CD. Among children seen at our institution in the same time period, 0.07% experienced an IS. The majority of those children with CD who were found to have IS had no evidence of nutritional deficit at the time of IS. IS was not identified in any children with CD who had been treated with a gluten-free diet.


IS was far more common among children in our cohort with untreated CD than in the general pediatric population simultaneously seen at our center. The diagnosis of CD should be considered in children with IS, even in the absence of signs of nutritional compromise.

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