Celiac.com 04/20/2009 - Faced with cases of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy that seemed to coincide with celiac disease, a team of Turkish researchers recently set out to determine if a possible connection exists between the two conditions.

The team was made up of Tugcin B. Polat, Nafiye Urganci, Yalim Yalcin, Cenap Zeybek, Celal Akdeniz, Abdullah Erdem, Elnur Imanov, and Ahmet Celebi, affiliated with the Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Hospital, and/or with the Clinic of Pediatrics, Sisli Etfal Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.

To date, little has been studied about cardiac function specifically as it relates to celiac disease. The researchers undertook their study to assess cardiac functions using Tissue Doppler Echocardiography in patients with celiac disease.

The team evaluated 45 clinically stable patients. the time of echocardiographic evaluation, 25 patients showed positive serum IgA Antiendomysial Antibody levels (Group 1), 20 patients showed negative serum IgA Antiendomysial Antibody levels (Group 2). 30 healthy, disease-free children served as a control group.

Group 1 showed substantially lower myocardial systolic wave velocity of the mitral annulus (p < 0.001), while Group 2 showed slightly longer myocardial precontraction and contraction times compared to controls (p = 0.015, p = 0.044, respectively).

Researchers noted a negative association between the serum IgA Antiendomysial Antibody levels and myocardial systolic wave levels for all subjects (r =−0.633; p < 0.001). A myocardial systolic wave velocity of <8.9 cm/s showed 92% sensitivity and 80% specificity in anticipating patients with positive serum IgA Anti-endomysial Antibody levels.

The team concluded that children with celiac disease coupled with prominent serum IgA Anti-endomysial antibody reactivity, show higher rates of subclinical systolic dysfunction of the left ventricle. They also noted that Tissue Doppler echocardiography offers a helpful quantifiable indicator for cardiac monitoring of disease during follow up.

Digestive and Liver Disease 40 (2008) 182–187

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).