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Gastroenterology. 1993 May;104(5):1263-72.

Intestinal antibody pattern of celiac disease: occurrence in patients with normal jejunal biopsy histology.

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Gastrointestinal Unit, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.



Patients with celiac disease have immunoglobulin (Ig) M antibodies and IgA antigliadin antibody in gut secretions; this pattern of intestinal immunity may be a marker of latent celiac disease. Its frequency in patients referred for jejunal biopsy has been examined.


Serum IgG and IgA antigliadin antibody, jejunal fluid IgA and IgM antibodies to gliadin, ovalbumin and beta lactoglobulin, and jejunal fluid IgA and IgM concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Seventeen of 19 celiac patients on normal diet and 16 of 23 on gluten-free diet had the celiaclike antibody pattern, as did 41 of 217 other patients. Jejunal biopsy histology had been classified as normal in 38 of these, with minor abnormalities in 3; however, intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) counts were high in 13 cases. Trial of a gluten-free diet produced clinical improvement in 6 of 7 antibody-positive patients. After extra dietary gluten, one developed subtotal villous atrophy.


The celiaclike intestinal antibody pattern and a high IEL count may be markers of latent gluten-sensitive enteropathy; some of these patients are clinically gluten sensitive in the absence of enteropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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