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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013 Feb;56(2):211-4. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318272b7bc.

Frequency of celiac disease in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Neurology, Inönü University Medical Faculty, Malatya, Turkey.



Although it is well known that celiac disease (CD) is associated with neurologic disorders, association with psychiatric problems is not well defined. In this report, we aimed to detect CD prevalence in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


A total of 362 patients between the ages 5 and 15 years with the diagnosis of ADHD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria and 390 sex- and age-matched healthy children were included in the present study. Serum levels of tissue transglutaminase (tTg) immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgG were studied in both groups. Serum IgA levels were also studied in patients with positive tTG IgG for the exclusion of selective IgA deficiency. Endoscopic duodenal biopsy was provided in seropositive patients, whose parents approved the procedure. Biopsy samples were evaluated according to Marsh-Oberhuber classification.


tTg IgA was positive in 4 patients with ADHD (1.1%). Endoscopic duodenal biopsy was suggestive of CD in one of them (0.27%). tTg IgA was positive in 3 of control group patients (0.8%). Duodenal biopsy of the only patient from control group, who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, revealed normal intestinal mucosa.


The seropositivity rates for CD were found similar in ADHD and control groups. Thus, neither routine screening for CD nor empirical recommendation of gluten-free diet seems necessary in children with ADHD.

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