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    Elevated Celiac Antibodies in Nearly 4% of Patients with Gastrointestinal Complaints


    Jefferson Adams

    More and more people with celiac disease present atypical symptoms that are clinically indistinguishable from other gastrointestinal disorders. A new study shows that upwards of 4% of people with generalized gastrointestinal complaints  show elevated celiac disease antibodies when screened.


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    A team of researchers recently set out to assess rates of celiac disease in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, and to catalog the common manifestations of atypical expressions of celiac disease. The research team was made up of Mohammad Rostami Nejad, Kamran Rostami, Mohamad Amin Pourhoseingholi, Ehsan Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, Manijeh Habibi, Hossein Dabiri, and Mohammad Reza Zali.

    The team designed and executed a cross sectional study that included 5,176 individuals chosen randomly from self-referred patients within a primary care setting in Tehran province from 2006-2007.

    In all, 670 of the 5176, or 13% of patients self-referred to a general practitioner suffered from gastrointestinal complaints.  All 670 subjects with gastrointestinal symptoms underwent celiac blood tests, including total immunoglobulin A (IgA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies. Individuals showing IgA deficiency underwent screening for IgG tTG.

    Of the 670 investigated for gastrointestinal complaints, a total of 22 patients, 17 women and 5 men, showed positive anti-tTG results (95% CI: 1.70-4.30). Another 8/670 showed IgA deficiency, with 3 of those 8 subjects showing positive IgG tTG.  Dyspepsia (indigestion) was the chief complaint in 25 patients withpositive blood tests and cases that were analogous to the rest of thesubjects.

    In all, 3.3% of serologically screened samples excluding IgA-deficient showed celiac disease antibodies, compared to 3.7% of those IgA-deficient subjects with positive tTG-IgG.

    Generalized gastrointestinal complaints are a common indication of atypical celiac disease. This study points to high rates of celiac disease antibodies among patients with generalized gastrointestinal symptoms (3.7%).

    Clinicians and patients will benefit from greater vigilance regarding atypical presentation of celiac disease and its association with generalized gastrointestinal symptoms.

    Source:
    Journal of Gastrointestinal Liver Disease - September 2009 Vol.18 No 3, 285-291

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  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/29/2012 - A group of researchers recently set out to study cases of positive tissue transglutaminase antibodies with negative endomysial antibodies to determine whether or not such cases amount to celiac disease.
    The team included Thomas Hornung; Pavel Gordins; Clare Parker; and Nicholas Thompson. They are variously affiliated with the departments of Gastroenterology, and Immunology at the Northern Deanery of Newcastle upon Tyne, and with the department of Gastroenterology at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK.
    The most sensitive and specific blood tests for diagnosing celiac disease are those that detect immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies against human tissue transglutaminase (tTGA) enzyme, and those that measure aspects of connective tissue covering individual smooth muscle fibers, endomysial antibodies (EMA).
    Because of the high sensitivity (up to 98%) and high specificity (around 96%) reported for the tTGA assay, detection of tTGA is currently the primary blood test used in screening for celiac disease.
    The tTGA test also has a high negative predictive value approaching 100%, which makes it an excellent test for excluding celiac disease in both high and low risk groups. In contrast, positive predictive value of the tTGA test is rather poor with values between 28.6% and 60.2% being reported in several studies.
    EMA, on the other hand, has extremely high specificity values close to 100% and positive predictive value values approaching 80%.[5 10] However, compared with tTGA, EMA has lower sensitivity, usually under 90%.
    This being the case, the present standard celiac disease screening strategy is to first use tTGA, and then confirm positive results using EMA. However, doing it this way, doctors often end up with a group of patients who show divergent test results.
    For their study, the researchers wanted to gauge the percentage of patients with positive tTGA and negative EMA, but who were confirmed with celiac disease upon biopsy, and to identify factors in these patients that may help to increase diagnostic accuracy in such patients.
    The research team identified 125 consecutive patients with positive tTGA and negative EMA, who subsequently underwent endoscopy with at least two biopsies from the second part of the duodenum.
    The team charted any tTGA result over 15 U/ml as positive. They excluded any patients with known celiac disease at the time of testing.
    They then reviewed patient notes to assess indications for celiac disease serological screening, including the presence of iron deficiency anaemia, and symptoms such as diarrhea or weight loss, and family history of celiac disease. They defined diarrhea as a bowel frequency of more than three times a day.
    They then assessed histological evidence of celiac disease based on subsequent duodenal biopsies, plus Marsh grading. In cases where patient histology was unclear, they relied on the clinical assessment of a consulting gastroenterologist. Unclear histology included minimal/mild increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes of not more than 30 per 100 enterocytes and without villous atrophy, plus mild villous blunting with no increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes.
    They then categorized patients as either celiac disease negative, or celiac disease positive. Patients with no histological evidence of celiac disease on duodenal biopsies or equivocal histology plus overall clinical impression of celiac disease absence were categorized as celiac disease negative. Patients with histological evidence of celiac disease on duodenal biopsies or equivocal histology plus overall clinical impression of celiac disease presence were categorized as celiac disease positive.
    To measure IgA anti-tTGA antibody the team used a commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay called Aeskulisa, manufactured by Aesku Diagnostics GmbH in Wendelsheim, Germany.
    To detect IgA anti-EMA with the standard immunofluorescent method, they used commercial slides of monkey oesophagus sections (Euroimmun, Euroimmun AG, Lübeck, Germany). They used conjugated sheep antihuman IgA as a secondary antibody, relying on a test manufactured by Instrumentation Laboratory UK Ltd., in Warrington, UK.
    Overall, the team categorized 113 patients (90.4%) as celiac disease negative. Of these, 102 patients had no histological features of celiac disease, while 11 patients had unclear histology plus an overall clinical impression of not having celiac disease.
    They categorized twelve patients (9.6%) as celiac disease positive. Of these, 10 patients had positive histology, and two patients had unclear histology plus an overall clinical impression of having celiac disease.
    Of those with positive histology, 17% were Marsh grade I, 8% were Marsh grade II, 33% were Marsh grade IIIa, 17% were Marsh grade IIIb and 25% were Marsh grade IIIc. Those with celiac disease were more likely to be older and to have a higher tTGA level. The groups showed no difference in any clinical parameter.
    Source:
    Frontline Gastroenterol. 2012;3(2):81-83.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/25/2013 - More and more, research is showing that celiac disease may have a variety of different clinical presentations. A team of researchers recently used data from Italy, Romania and Iran to explore rates of gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with celiac disease.
    The research team included M.J. Ehsani-Ardakani, M. Rostami Nejad, V. Villanacci, U. Volta, S. Manenti, G. Caio, P. Giovenali, G. Becheanu, M. Diculescu, S. Pellegrino, G. Magazzù, G. Casella, C. Di Bella, N. Decarli, M. Biancalani, G. Bassotti, S. Hogg-Kollars, M.R. Zali, K. Rostami. They are affiliated with the Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran.
    For their retrospective cross-sectional study, the team used data gathered Iran, Romania and Italy from May 2009 - May 2011. The study included only cases of celiac disease confirmed by endoscopy, small bowel biopsy and positive serology.
    The team collected data on gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting, weight loss and flatulence, as well as additional signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia (IDA), osteoporosis, hypertransaminasemia, and other related abnormalities.
    The study included 323 women and 127 men with confirmed celiac disease. Average patient age at diagnosis was 34.2 ± 16.47.
    A total of 157 patients (34.9%) reported at least one gastrointestinal symptom. Most of those patients reported diarrhea (13.6%), or dyspepsia and constipation (4.0%). 168 patients (37.3%) reported non-gastrointestinal symptoms, most commonly anemia (20.7%) and osteopenia (6%).
    The data showed statistically significant differences between the majority of symptoms, compared with the reported clinical symptoms from different countries.
    The study showed that European patients commonly complained of upper abdominal disorders, such as abdominal pain and dyspepsia, while Iranian patients commonly complained of the more classic celiac symptoms of diarrhea and bloating. Anemia was the most common non-gastrointestinal complaint for both Iranian and Italian patients, but was significantly higher in Iranian patients.

    Source:
    Arch Iran Med. 2013 Feb;16(2):78-82. doi: 013162/AIM.006.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2018 - Celiac disease has been mainly associated with Caucasian populations in Northern Europe, and their descendants in other countries, but new scientific evidence is beginning to challenge that view. Still, the exact global prevalence of celiac disease remains unknown.  To get better data on that issue, a team of researchers recently conducted a comprehensive review and meta-analysis to get a reasonably accurate estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease. 
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    Source:
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/16/2018 - Summer is the time for chips and salsa. This fresh salsa recipe relies on cabbage, yes, cabbage, as a secret ingredient. The cabbage brings a delicious flavor and helps the salsa hold together nicely for scooping with your favorite chips. The result is a fresh, tasty salsa that goes great with guacamole.
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    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
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    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
    However, researchers really don’t have much data regarding the frequency and significance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. Such data could provide useful comparison information for patients with RCDII, among other things.
    To that end, a research team recently set out to try to get some information about the frequency and importance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. The research team included Shafinaz Hussein, Tatyana Gindin, Stephen M Lagana, Carolina Arguelles-Grande, Suneeta Krishnareddy, Bachir Alobeid, Suzanne K Lewis, Mahesh M Mansukhani, Peter H R Green, and Govind Bhagat.
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Department of Medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA. Their team analyzed results of TCR-GR analyses performed on SB biopsies at our institution over a 3-year period, which were obtained from eight active celiac disease, 172 celiac disease on gluten-free diet, 33 RCDI, and three RCDII patients and 14 patients without celiac disease. 
    Clonal TCR-GRs are not infrequent in cases lacking features of RCDII, while PCPs are frequent in all disease phases. TCR-GR results should be assessed in conjunction with immunophenotypic, histological and clinical findings for appropriate diagnosis and classification of RCD.
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    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/13/2018 - There have been numerous reports that olmesartan, aka Benicar, seems to trigger sprue‐like enteropathy in many patients, but so far, studies have produced mixed results, and there really hasn’t been a rigorous study of the issue. A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether olmesartan is associated with a higher rate of enteropathy compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
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    After PS matching comparing olmesartan to other ARBs, hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.05‐1.40), 1.00 (95% CI, 0.88‐1.13), 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10‐1.36) and 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01‐1.07) for each outcome. Patients aged 65 years and older showed greater hazard ratios for celiac disease, as did patients receiving treatment for more than 1 year, and patients receiving higher cumulative olmesartan doses.
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    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics