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What is 'Potential' Celiac Disease?

Celiac.com 07/01/2013 - Potential celiac disease (PCD) is a type of celiac disease marked by positive endomysial/tissue transglutaminase antibodies and a preserved duodenal mucosa despite a gluten-containing diet (GCD). PCD can turn into active celiac disease, but very little is currently known about what causes that to happen.

Photo: CC--withassociatesA team of researchers recently conducted a retroactive study to better understand PCD rates and the natural history of adult patients with PCD.

The research team included F. Biagi, L. Trotta, C. Alfano, D. Balduzzi, V. Staffieri, P.I. Bianchi, A. Marchese, C. Vattiato, A. Zilli, O. Luinetti, P. Gobbi, and G.R. Corazza of the Celiac Centre/First Department of Internal Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo and the University of Pavia in Pavia, Italy.

For their study, the team assessed the clinical notes for all 47 patients with PCD attending our clinic between September 1999 and October 2011. They established a control group of patients with active celiac disease, randomly selected and matched for sex and date of birth.

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They then compared results for symptoms, associated diseases, familiarity, and laboratory data at diagnosis for the PCD group against results from the control group. They found that 42 of 187 celiac disease patients directly diagnosed at their center had PCD. That's 1 out of every 4.4 celiac patients, 18.3%, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.3-23.4%.

There was no difference between the two groups in terms of average age at diagnosis, laboratory data, prevalence of symptoms, associated diseases, and familiarity for celiac disease.

Interestingly, some patients with PCD maintained a normal duodenal mucosa for many years and their symptoms spontaneously improved despite continuing to regularly consume gluten. Basically, this study indicates that potential celiac disease is not a rare and/or early form of celiac disease.

Because of the consistency in age at diagnosis and clinical features between potential celiac disease and active celiac disease, they suggest that potential celiac disease is a separate condition that can only develop into active celiac disease, though it does not always do so.


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JaneWhoLovesRain, what is odder to me than that there is an older disease that Doctor's have forgotten that explains many of the same symptom's and doctor's do not even think about it today since the "War on Pellagra" was declared over a 100 years and why doctor's don't (at least in the West) think about it any more. Dr. Heaney wrote a nice online article about this topic. http://blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/2013/11/18/pellagra-and-the-four-ds/ Here is fairly recent article about how Pellagra can present in patients and the title says' it all from the International Journal of Dermatology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227807440_Pellagra_Dermatitis_dementia_and_diarrhea Dermatitis, dementia and Diarrhea are the 3 D's (4th D is death) of Pellagra. Typically it is only diagnosed today if you are in a subset of the population like an alcoholic for example or you have a gastric bypass. See this article from the New England Journal of Medicine http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm050641 and despite all the signs of Pellagra (skin issues etc.) . . .. Pellagra in it native tongue (Italian) where it was first diagnosed was called "rough/sour skin" who knows that today??????? Very few I would venture to guess. The NEJM can only say they have "Pellagra-like dermatitis" it has been so long since any doctor's seen it they can't (with confidence) diagnose it clinically. But taking Niacinamide 3/day for 6 months can help alleviate your symptom's if indeed the DH of Celiac is the dermatitis of Pellagra being medically misdiagnosed. Here is a an article featured on celiac.com about why/how Pellagra can be confused for Celiac disease. https://www.celiac.com/articles/24658/1/A-Differential-Diagnosis-How-Pellagra-Can-be-Confused-with-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html Because they haven't seen Pellagra in 75+ years no one recognizes it anymore. ****this is not medical advice. I hope this is helpful. Knitty Kitty and I are the Niacin warriors on this board. See this thread where Knitty Kitty says Niacin helped the itching of DH. If that is so then it might help your DH (if you have it) and your GI problems too if they are caused by co-morbid Pellagra. see my blog post about where I say "I had Celiac Disease and Developed Pellagra" that talks about this in more detail. Again good luck and your continued journey and I hope this is helpful. 2 Timothy 2: 7 ?Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things? this included. posterboy by the grace of God,

I should say I am confused about how to interpret--- Does this mean celiac or no celiac? Thank you all---I greatly appreciate it.

KathleenH, I swear by MatteosPizza and they make National Delivery. I have been known to buy them by the dozen. https://www.matteospizza.com/ BellaMonica's is not a bad corn based crust. By not bad I mean "suprisingly good" that can be bought at most grocery stores. Here is there ZIP locator page to see if they are carried in your local area. http://glutenfreepizza.typepad.com/gluten-free-pizza/where-to-find-bella-monica.html I hope this is helpful. posterboy,

Hey all--have Hashimoto's and am being worked up for epigastric discomfort and IBS like symptoms--- My blood work had an IgA within the lower end of normal range, negative TTG, but weakly positive DGP. My endoscopy showed a "nodular" duodenum with the biopsy stating there was "reactive lymphoid hyperplasia"... I have a follow-up with the GI in 3 weeks. Wondering about any help?

DH wasn't linked to celiacs until 1967 from my research...