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Pediatr Neurol. 2004 Aug;31(2):139-42.

Celiac disease and childhood stroke.

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Department of Child Health, Southampton, United Kingdom.


Celiac disease is associated with a diversity of central nervous system manifestations although an association with stroke has not been documented. This case report describes a child who presented with a recurrent transient hemiplegia. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain confirmed infarction; transcranial Doppler studies and magnetic resonance angiography were abnormal. Although there were virtually no gastrointestinal symptoms and the child was thriving, celiac disease serology was strongly positive and a duodenal biopsy confirmed the disease. Tissue transglutaminase is the major autoantigen in celiac disease and is thought to maintain vascular endothelial integrity. Antiendomysial immunoglobulin A antibodies, demonstrated to be the same autoantibody as antitransglutaminase, react with cerebral vasculature, suggesting an autoimmune mechanism for celiac disease associated vasculopathy. Because celiac disease is a potentially treatable cause of cerebral vasculopathy, serology-specifically antitissue transglutaminase antibodies-should be included in the evaluation for cryptogenic stroke in childhood, even in the absence of typical gut symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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