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  • Jefferson Adams

    Should HLA Come First in Celiac Disease Screening for Arthritis Patients?

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Photo: CC--Keoni Cabral
    Caption: Photo: CC--Keoni Cabral

    Celiac.com 03/16/2017 - When screening arthritis patients for celiac disease, should HLA be done before serology? During the past decades, an accumulating evidence shows a dramatic rise in the frequency of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions, such as celiac disease.

    HLA genes have been shown to be strongly associated with numerous autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and celiac disease. A team of researchers recently set out to assess the performance of celiac disease associated serology in face of a rheumatologic patient, when gluten enteropaty is suspected.



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    The research team included Hakim Rahmoune, Nada Boutrid, Mounira Amrane, and Belkacem Bioud. They are variously affiliated with the Pediatrics Department and the Biochemistry Department of Setif University Hospital at Setif-1 University in Algeria.

    The main question they sought to answer was: Should HLA be done prior to the serology? Could unnecessary serial serological celiac disease screening in such rheumatology patient be avoided by performing an HLA typing, as a long-life marker of genetically celiac disease-susceptible patients?

    Serogenetic screening without the requirement for follow-up small bowel biopsies provides a flexible, cost-effective methodology that could be widely applied to obtain accurate estimates of the prevalence of celiac disease in large group studies.

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    I lived 67 years with so many issues including severe arthritis, gut, migraine, neurophy, depression, acne, leg pain and other issues. I went to specialists at university teaching hospitals and after everything was eliminated, I asked if it could be gluten related. No, you didn't test for celiac. Three sisters and we all have issues and my younger sister determined it was gluten and I went gluten-free. I did DNA research. Yes HLA DQA1. No doctor asks for that info perhaps because they don't know. Rhumatoligist for scleroderma acknowledged confirmation of gluten intolerance. My 21 year old grandson confirmed autoimmune diseases. Why isn't DNA used as a tool? Years of illness untreated means years of lost quality of life.

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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 2,500 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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