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Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Oct;97(10):2609-13.

Celiac disease in autoimmune cholestatic liver disorders.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology, Hepatology, S. Orsola-Malpighi Policlinic, University of Bologna, Italy.



In this study, serological screening for celiac disease (CD) was performed in patients with autoimmune cholestasis to define the prevalence of such an association and to evaluate the impact of gluten withdrawal on liver disease associated with gluten sensitive enteropathy.


Immunoglobulin A endomysial, human and guinea pig tissue transglutaminase antibodies, and immunoglobulin A and G gliadin antibodies were sought in 255 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.


Immunoglobulin A endomysial and human tissue transglutaminase antibodies were positive in nine patients (seven primary biliary cirrhosis, one autoimmune cholangitis, and one primary sclerosing cholangitis), whose duodenal biopsy results showed villous atrophy consistent with CD. Two of these patients had a malabsorption syndrome, and one had iron-deficiency anemia. Clinical and biochemical signs of cholestasis did not improve after gluten withdrawal in the three patients with severe liver disease. A longer follow-up of the six celiac patients with mild liver damage is needed to clarify whether gluten restriction can contribute to slow down the progression of liver disease.


The high prevalence of CD (3.5%) in autoimmune cholestasis suggests that serological screening for CD should be routinely performed in such patients by immunoglobulin A endomysial or human tissue transglutaminase antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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