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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Disease May Cause Idiopathic Portal Hypertension

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 04/07/2009 - Idiopathic portal hypertension is a malady ofunknown cause, typically manifesting portal hypertension, splenomegalyand anemia secondary to hypersplenism.

    Recently, a team ofIranian researchers encountered the case of a a 54-year-old maleadmitted for evaluation of malaise, weight loss, abdominal swelling andedema of the lower limbs.

    The reporting team was made up ofdoctors Farhad Zamani, Afsaneh Amiri, Ramin Shakeri, Ali Zare, andMehdi Mohamadnejad, of the Department of Pathology, and theGastrointestinal and Liver Disease Research Center of FirouzgarHospital at the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, and theDigestive Disease Research Center of Shariati Hospital at TehranUniversity of Medical Sciences.

    The patient's clinicalevaluation showed pancytopenia, large ascites, splenomegaly andesophageal anomalies associated with portal hypertension.

    Bloodtests and small intestinal biopsy showed the presence of celiacdisease. Patient's symptoms improved with a gluten-free diet, butimprovement was further impaired by ulcerative jejunoileitis, andintestinal T-cell lymphoma.

    From these results, the researchersconclude that celiac disease, by means of a heightened immune responsein the splenoportal axis, can lead to the development of idiopathicportal hypertension in susceptible affected patients.

    J Med Case Reports. 2009; 3: 68.

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    There is the use of too many medical terms that the average reader doesn't know the meaning of, therefore reading this article by anyone other than a medical student or doctor is like reading in a foreign language that you don't know. It's a waste of time to the average person who is dealing with celiac.

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    I agree with A.J. - all this article does is freak me out! What do all those medical terms mean?? The only bits I understand are Coeliac and anaemia (both of which I have).... should I be worried about this mysterious idiopathic portal hypertension?!

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    I agree with David. It would be helpful to know more about this one case before drawing a strong conclusion based on a somewhat vague phrase like 'susceptible adults.' What might make them susceptible? Just celiac disease? If so, where are all the other cases?

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    I have celiac and have and enlarged spleen, portal hypertension and cirrhosis of the liver. I am not a drinker and have had it since I was 21. So I believe without question it causes portal hypertension if left undiagnosed.


    Thank you for writing up something so rarely noted in medicine journals but which is so important.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He 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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF 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.

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