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Gastroenterology. 1984 Dec;87(6):1326-31.

Hyposplenism and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Natural history, incidence, and relationship to diet and small bowel morphology.


Splenic function was quantitatively assessed using "pitted" erythrocyte counts in 177 patients with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Hyposplenism was found to be a common, but not inevitable, complication of gluten-sensitive enteropathy that fluctuated with disease activity. Splenic function improved after withdrawal of gluten from the diet and a close relationship was demonstrated between hyposplenism and the morphology of the small intestine. The severity of the hyposplenism increased with advancing age and prolongation of exposure to dietary gluten. Splenic function did not vary with the HLA-A, -B, and -DR antigens, but, due to the presence of HLA-B8 and -DR3 in the vast majority of patients, a role for this haplotype in the causation of the hyposplenism cannot be excluded.

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