Celiac.com 09/19/2016 - At the time of diagnosis, some celiac patients suffer also from what is called celiac hepatitis, which is liver damage in patients with celiac disease that resolves after a gluten-free diet.
A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate predictive factors of celiac hepatitis at the celiac disease diagnosis stage. To do so, they conducted a retrospective study that included 46 adult patients with clinically diagnosed celiac disease.
Of the 46 patients, eighty-seven percent were women, with an average age of 33 ± 11 years, 87% showed Marsh 3, and 21 patients (46%) had celiac hepatitis. At the time of diagnosis, these patients had average Immunoglobulin A anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (TTG-IgA) levels of 208.0 U/ml (p25–p75: 89–1316 U/ml), a mean aspartate aminotransferase of 42 ± 24 U/L, alanine aminotransferase 50 ± 28 U/L, alkaline phosphatase 111 ± 64 U/L. One year after diagnosis, the median average TTG-IgA was 9U/ml (p25–p75: 4.5–30.5 U/ml) and one-third of the patients had normal values.
At diagnosis, patients without celiac hepatitis had an average TTG-IgA of 77U/ml (p25–p75: 24–288 U/ml), average aspartate aminotransferase of 23 ± 4 U/L, alanine aminotransferase 20 ± 6 U/L, alkaline phosphatase 69 ± 17 U/L. One year after diagnosis, median TTG-IgA was 6 U/ml (p25–p75: 3–19 U/ml) and nearly half of the patients showed normal values.
At diagnosis, patients with celiac hepatitis had higher values of TTG-IgA (p = 0.007). Also, at diagnosis, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between TTG-IgA and alanine aminotransferase (r = 0.324, p = 0.028). For patients with a TTG-IgA level higher than 310 U/ml (OR = 4.8, 95%CI = 1.213–18.781, p = 0.025), the risk of having celiac hepatitis was nearly 5-times higher. From this, the team concludes that higher TTG-IgA levels can help predict celiac hepatitis in adult patients with celiac disease at diagnosis.