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J Pediatr. 2009 Jul;155(1):51-5, 55.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.01.013. Epub 2009 Mar 25.

Prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in children with celiac disease and effect of gluten withdrawal.

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Pediatric Clinic II, Microcitemico Hospital ASL 8, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.



To study the prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) in Sardinian children with celiac disease (CD) and the effects of a gluten-free diet (GFD) on thyroid function.


Children with biopsy-proven CD (n = 324; female:male 2:1; mean age, 6.6 years) followed from 1 to 15 years, were retrospectively evaluated for AT at onset of CD and during GFD. Serum thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies (AbTPO, AbTG), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), and thyroid ultrasonography were considered. Age-matched Sardinian schoolchildren (n = 8040), previously evaluated for antithyroid antibodies and thyroid function, were used as controls.


Thirty-four patients with CD (10.5%) developed AT (female:male 4,5:1; mean age, 10.5 years), 11 at onset of CD and 23 during GFD, with a higher prevalence than controls (P = 2.9(-13)). Twenty-eight patients were euthyroid and 6 hypothyroid. AbTPO and/or AbTG persisted elevated for 2 to 9 years despite the GFD in 9 of 11 patients with AT at onset of CD.


AT is strongly associated with CD in Sardinian children, has an age of onset of 10.5 years, and appears to be gluten-independent. In children with CD with AT, the female:male bias reported in adult AT is present before puberty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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