Celiac.com 09/11/2014 - What’s the relationship, if any, between eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and celiac disease? Research studies have produced variable results.

Photo: CC--Elvert BarnesResearchers A. J. Lucendo, Á. Arias, and J. M. Teniaso recently set out to conduct a systematic review of medical literature to determine if there’s any evidence of a connection between both diseases. They used the MEDLINE, EMBASE and SCOPUS databases to conduct electronic searches with keywords relating to EoE and celiac disease.

Depending on study heterogeneity, they used random-effects models as needed (I2). To assess publication bias, they used funnel plot analysis, along with the Begg–Mazumdar, Harbord and Egger tests.

Their keyword search produced 197 significant study references; 30 were included in the quantitative summary, with most showing serious methodological inconsistencies. The team found significant publication bias in favor of short studies reporting positive connections between the two diseases.

The prevalence of EoE in celiac patients ranged from 0% to 10.7% (I2 = 78.9%). Rates of celiac disease in EoE varied wildly, between 0.16% and 57.1% (I2 = 89%).

One high-quality, prospective, randomly selected, population-based study showed a celiac disease rate of 1.1%, with no cases of EoE. Numerous quantitative summaries of celiac prevalence suffer from clinical and methodological differences. That is, they are are not similar enough to draw good conclusions.

A gluten-free diet produced histological remission of EoE in 32.1% of celiac patients (95% confidence interval, 14.9–52.2%; I2 = 52.2%), which was similar to that expected for wheat elimination in EoE patients.

There are not really enough valid studies to completely rule in or out a true association between EoE and celiac disease, currently available evidence does not support any such connection. In fact, the only epidemiologically valid study indicates that these diseases are not connected.

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