Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Volume 16 Issue 5 Page 428 - August 2005 Celiac.com 09/27/2005 – Italian researchers have discovered a link between celiac disease and chronic urticaria (hives). The researchers conducted a case control study that screened 79 children with chronic urticaria for celiac disease, then compared the results to that of 2,545 healthy controls in order to determine the clinical relevance of any association. Children and adolescents who had chronic hives for at least 6 weeks that did not respond to oral antihistamines were used as subjects in the chronic urticaria group, and each group was screened for celiac disease via anti-transglutaminase and anti-edomysial antibodies, with confirmation done via endoscopic intestinal biopsy.
The researchers found celiac disease in 4 of the 79 chronic urticaria group—a full 5%, and in 17 of the 2,545 controls (0.67%). The four children found to have celiac disease in the chronic urticaria group were put on a gluten-free diet and after 5-10 weeks their chronic urticaria symptoms completely disappeared (while it took 5-9 months for their serological tests for celiac disease to return to normal).
The researchers conclude that the presence of celiac disease in children with chronic urticaria is significantly more frequent than in controls, and children with chronic urticaria should be screened for celiac disease, and, if it is found, they should be treated with a gluten-free diet.