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Turk J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;15(3):192-5.

Celiac disease in patients having recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak, Turkey.



Celiac disease is a condition related to the small intestine's intolerance to gluten. In epidemiologic studies the prevalence is highly variable. The diagnosis can be difficult due to the wide spectrum of signs and symptoms. As the risk for intestinal lymphoma is higher in these patients, early diagnosis has its privileges. The higher prevalence of recurrent aphthous stomatitis in celiac disease led us to investigate the celiac disease prevalence in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis, which might assist in diagnosis of asymptomatic celiac disease patients. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of celiac disease in patients presenting with recurrent aphthous stomatitis.


The study group consisted of patients having a history of recurrent aphthous stomatitis. The control group included patients not having aphthous stomatitis. Antibodies to gliadin IgG and IgA and antibodies to endomysium were determined from the serum samples of all patients. Biopsies were obtained from the distal part of the duodenum.


Biopsies of two patients (4.8%) out of 41 belonging to the study group were diagnosed as celiac disease. In serum samples of both, antibodies to gliadin IgA and antibodies to endomysium were found to be positive. Antibodies to gliadin IgG antibody were positive in only one of these two patients. None of the 49 patients in the control group was diagnosed as celiac disease.


Further evaluation of recurrent aphthous stomatitis patients for celiac disease must be performed. As the endoscopic procedures are invasive and costly, evaluation of recurrent aphthous stomatitis patients for celiac disease must include serologic markers at the beginning. If any positivity is determined in markers, then endoscopic procedures including biopsies of the duodenum must be considered as the second-step intervention.

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