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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov-Dec;47(10):828-33. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31828f531c.

Human leukocyte antigen genetics and clinical features of self-treated patients on a gluten-free diet.

Author information

1
*Mayo Medical School, College of Medicine †Department of Psychiatry and Psychology ‡Division of Biostatistics and Informatics §Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology ∥Division of Transfusion Medicine ¶Division of Anatomic Pathology #Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Increasingly, people start a gluten-free diet (GFD) without a clear celiac disease (CD) diagnosis. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotyping is useful in ruling out CD in patients with equivocal results of serologic testing or small-bowel biopsy (SBB), but its utility and the clinical features of patients on self-treated GFD (ST-GFD) are largely unknown.

METHODS:

Retrospective study of single tertiary care center cohort compared 137 patients on ST-GFD and 443 patients with well-defined CD. We compared HLA genotype, symptoms, serologic and SBB results, and response to GFD between the 2 groups. Analysis used univariate logistic regression modeling, adjusted for age and sex.

RESULTS:

Patients with ST-GFD presented more often with diarrhea (P<0.001), abdominal distention (P<0.001), flatulence (P=0.002), cramping (P=0.02), itchy skin (P=0.02), oral inflammation (P=0.04), and constipation (P=0.01) and less often with anemia (P<0.001) or malaise (P=0.02) than CD patients. In addition, 41% did not carry DQ2.5 and DQ8 versus 6% of CD patients (P<0.001). Only 2% of ST-GFD patients had SBB clearly consistent with CD. Family history of CD showed no difference between groups (P=0.77). Although CD patients had a statistically higher rate of GFD benefit, both groups had a high responsiveness rate (98% vs. 94%; P=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

HLA genotyping is useful in evaluating patients on an ST-GFD. Although confirmed CD is rare in self-treated patients, most still report benefit from GFD regardless of DQ2 and DQ8 status. Nonceliac gluten sensitivity may play a role.

PMID:
23632357
PMCID:
PMC3735773
DOI:
10.1097/MCG.0b013e31828f531c
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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