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    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/27/2013 - Patients with villous atrophy and negative celiac disease serologies pose a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma.
    When doctors are unable to determine what is causing villous atrophy in a patient without celiac disease, they usually classify it as a case of "unclassified sprue." However, doctors currently know very little about the best way to treat and manage cases of unclassified sprue.
    To get a better picture of this dilemma, a team of researchers recently examined the connections between villous atrophy and negative celiac serology.
    The research team included M. Degaetani, C.A. Tennyson, B. Lebwohl, S.K. Lewis, H. Abu Daya, C. Arguelles-Grande, G. Bhagat G, and P.H. Green. They are variously affiliated with the Celiac Disease Center, and the Department of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, USA.
    For their study, the team looked at adult patients with biopsy-proven villous atrophy and negative celiac serology, evaluated at our tertiary referral center over a 10-year period.
    They noted test results for HLA DQ2/8 alleles, antienterocyte antibodies, giardia stool antigen, bacterial overgrowth, total serum immunoglobulins, and HIV. They also recorded treatment, response, and repeat-biopsy findings for each patient.
    They found that most of the 72 cases were classified as seronegative celiac disease, medication-related villous atrophy, and unclassified sprue.
    The majority of patients diagnosed with unclassified sprue reported symptomatic improvement with immunosuppressive therapy.
    Some patients diagnosed with unclassified sprue were found to have villous atrophy associated with the use of olmesartan.
    The team encourages further examination of the role of medications in the development of villous atrophy, along with the optimal dose and length of immunosuppression for patients with unclassified sprue.

    Source:
    Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 May;108(5):647-53. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.45.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/18/2015 - Getting high-quality biopsy specimens is key to making accurate celiac disease diagnoses. Endoscopists may take either a single- or double-biopsy specimen with each pass of the forceps.
    Does it matter whether they take one or two? Is two better than one?
    A team of researchers recently set out to answer those questions, by comparing the quality of biopsy specimens obtained with the single-biopsy and double-biopsy techniques.
    The research team includes M. Latorre, S.M. Lagana, D.E. Freedberg, S.K. Lewis, B. Lebwohl, G. Bhagat, and P. H. Green of the Celiac Disease Center, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
    Their prospective cohort study looked at patients undergoing upper endoscopy with confirmed, suspected, or unknown celiac disease status. A total of 86 patients enrolled in the study, 47% with known celiac disease, 36% with suspected celiac disease, and 17% with an unknown celiac disease status.
    In each case, patients received four biopsy specimens from the second portion of the duodenum. Two were made using the single-biopsy technique of 1 bite per pass of the forceps, and two more using the double-biopsy technique, which takes 2 bites per pass of the forceps.
    Specimens were blindly reviewed to determine orientation, consecutive crypt-to-villous units, and Marsh score. Well-oriented biopsy specimens were noted in 66% of patients with the single-biopsy technique and 42% of patients with the double-biopsy technique (P < .01).
    Analysis of matched pairs showed improved orientation with the single-biopsy technique (odds ratio 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-7.1; P < .01). This persisted in subgroup analysis of patients with known celiac disease (P = .02), villous atrophy (P = .02), and a final diagnosis of celiac disease (P < .01).
    Now, this is just a single-center trial, so results need to be compared with results from additional cities.
    Interestingly, these results suggest that one bite is actually better than two, because the single-biopsy technique improves the yield of well-oriented duodenal biopsy specimens.
    For best results, the endoscopists should consider taking only one biopsy specimen per pass of the forceps in patients undergoing biopsies of the duodenal mucosa.
    Source:
    Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 Jan 29. pii: S0016-5107(14)02380-3. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2014.10.024.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/08/2016 - Sometimes, certain cases can stand out and grab the attention of clinicians or researchers. Such is the case of a 62-year-old woman who was suffering from severe malabsorption, and diagnosed with celiac disease based on the findings of flat, small intestinal mucosa and HLA-DQ2 positivity, although celiac blood tests were negative.
    A team of researchers questioned the diagnosis, because the woman showed no clinical or histological improvement after a long period of strict gluten-free diet.
    The research team included U Volta, MG Mumolo, G Caio, E Boschetti, R Latorre, F Giancola, P Paterini, and R De Giorgio. They variously are affiliated with the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences at the University of Bologna, and with the Gastroenterology Unit in the Department of Gastroenterology at the University of Pisa in Italy.
    Based on the detection of enterocyte autoantibodies, the team found that the correct diagnosis for the woman was autoimmune enteropathy. After appropriate immunosuppressive treatment, the woman experienced the disappearance of all symptoms, and a complete recovery.
    Based on this case, the team notes that doctors should consider autoimmune enteropathy in the differential diagnosis of malabsorption with severe villous atrophy, including those cases with negative celiac-related serology.
    Source:
    Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2016 Spring;9(2):140-5.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/12/2016 - Studies suggest that celiac disease affects about 0.5% to 1% of the North American population. There is no good screening data based on small intestinal biopsy performed during routine endoscopic evaluation.
    Researcher Hugh James Freeman, MD CM FRCPC FACP, of the Gastroenterology unit in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently set out to review the detection of adult celiac disease using duodenal screening biopsies over a 30-year period.
    Dr. Freeman reviewed data from patients referred between January 1982 and December 2011 for evaluation of gastrointestinal symptoms, requiring elective investigative upper endoscopic evaluation, and who underwent duodenal biopsies to determine whether changes of adult celiac disease were present. He found a total of 9,665 patients, including 4,008 male and 5,657 female, who underwent elective endoscopy and duodenal biopsy.
    Of these, 234, about 2.5%, showed celiac-associated physical changes, including 73 males (1.8%) and 161 females (2.8%). During the first 20 years, the number of biopsy-positive patients in five-year intervals progressively decreased, while over the next 10 years, the number progressively increased.
    Dr Freeman's results indicate that celiac disease is far more common in specialist practice than has been suggested by data from healthy populations using serological screening.
    Because endoscopic duodenal biopsy is so effective in spotting celiac-related damage, Dr. Freeman suggests it be routinely considered in all patients receiving elective endoscopic evaluation.
    Source:
    Can J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jul; 27(7): 405–408. PMCID: PMC3956015

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