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  • Jefferson Adams

    What Are the Rates of Human Leukocyte Antigen DQ2/8 in Non-celiac Patients with Gastrointestinal Diseases?

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 06/17/2013 - To investigate the prevalence of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DQ2/8 alleles in Southern Italians with liver and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases outside of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently looked at human leukocyte antigen DQ2/8 prevalence in non-celiac patients with gastrointestinal diseases.

    Photo: The Everlasting FalloutThe research team included Daniel DiGiacomo, Antonella Santonicola, Fabiana Zingone, Edoardo Troncone, Maria Cristina Caria, Patrizia Borgheresi, Gianpaolo Parrilli, and Carolina Ciacci. They are variously affiliated with the Gastrointestinal Unit of University Federico â…¡ in Naples, Italy, the Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center of Columbia University in New York, in the United States, The Celiac Center of Loreto Crispi Hospital in Naples, Italy, the Celiac Center, Gastrointestinal Unit in San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’Aragona Hospital at the University of Salerno, and the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Campus di Baronissi at the University of Salerno Medical School in Baronissi, Italy.



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    The team assessed HLA DQ2/8 status in 443 patients from three ambulatory gastroenterology clinics in Southern Italy. The clinics were located at the University of Federico â…¡ and Loreto Crispi Hospital in Naples, and Ruggi D’Aragona Hospital in Salerno.

    The team grouped patients according disease status for pre-post transplant liver disease, esophageal/gastric organic and functional diseases, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with DQ2/8 alleles, which correspond to a celiac disease genetic risk scale.

    They then compared allele frequencies in the test subjects with healthy Italian control subjects. Out of 443 subjects, the team found that 196 subjects (44.2%), tested positive for DQ2/8. The average age of DQ2/8 positive subjects was 56 years, and 42.6% were female.

    Overall, the team found that 86/188 (45.7%) patients with liver disease were HLA DQ2/8 positive, 39/73 (53.4%) with functional upper GI diseases and 19/41 (46.3%) with organic upper GI diseases were positive.

    Moreover, 38/105 (36.2%) patients with IBS and 14/36 (38.9%) with IBD were HLA DQ2/8 positive (P = 0.21). Additionally, people with functional upper GI diseases disorders had rates of DQ2/8 positivity that were nearly double those of healthy control subjects. Those with liver disease had rates of DQ2/8 positivity that were 1.3 percent higher than controls, though this rate is not statistically significant. People with IBS and IBD had a lower rates of DQ2/8 positivity compared to healthy controls.

    Compared to general population estimates, the percentage of individuals who were HLA DQ2/8 positive is higher in those with liver/upper functional GI disease and lower in IBS/IBD.

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    There is no reliable test for gluten sensitivity. My problem is: where they found "healthy" people? It must be some secret formula. I would love to know how they did it.

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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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