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Dig Dis Sci. 1998 Oct;43(10):2190-5.

Frequency and significance of anti-gliadin and anti-endomysial antibodies in autoimmune hepatitis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology and Hepatology, University of Bologna, Italy.


Celiac disease has been associated with autoimmune disorders, but its frequency in autoimmune hepatitis is unknown. Sera from 157 patients with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis, 24 patients with type 2 autoimmune hepatitis, 62 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 30 patients with chronic hepatitis B, and 80 patients with chronic hepatitis C were tested for immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence and immunoglobulin A and G antibodies to gliadin by enzyme immunoassay. Duodenal biopsy evaluation was recommended in patients seropositive for immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies. Immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies were present in eight of the 181 patients with autoimmune hepatitis (4%), including six with type 1 disease (4%) and two with type 2 disease (8%). Immunoglobulin A antibodies to gliadin were found in six of these eight patients, but they were also present in two others, including one patient with chronic hepatitis C. Five of the eight patients with immunoglobulin A antiendomysial antibodies, including three patients with no gastrointestinal symptoms, had duodenal biopsies and subtotal villous atrophy was present in all of them. No patient with primary biliary cirrhosis or chronic viral hepatitis had antiendomysial antibodies. The presence of celiac disease in autoimmune hepatitis is high (at least one in 36 patients) and it is predominantly asymptomatic. Screening with anti-endomysial and anti-gliadin antibodies should be performed and results confirmed with intestinal biopsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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