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Rheumatology (Oxford, England)

Low prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with systemic sclerosis: a cross-sectional study of a registry cohort.


PMID 23335635

Abstract

Two prior studies suggested that coeliac disease (CD) has a higher prevalence rate (8%) in SSc than in the general population (1%), but these studies were limited by small numbers and the use of traditional coeliac screening antibody tests, where newer ones with improved accuracy have since emerged. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of CD in a larger SSc population using a more modern serological approach to coeliac testing and to correlate coeliac antibody status with gastrointestinal symptoms. Stored sera from 72 SSc patients in the Scleroderma Registry at the Hospital for Special Surgery were tested for anti-tissue transglutaminase (traditional) and anti-deamidated gliadin peptide (novel) antibodies. If any of these antibodies were positive, anti-endomysial antibodies were tested and confirmatory small-bowel endoscopy and biopsy were obtained. Registry clinical data were used to determine whether antibody status correlated with gastrointestinal symptoms. The prevalence of coeliac antibodies in our SSc population was 3/72 (4%). No significant differences with respect to gastrointestinal symptoms were seen in the coeliac antibody-positive compared with -negative SSc patients. No cases of confirmed CD were seen in our cohort. Contrary to the only two previously published studies, the low prevalence of CD that we found does not suggest that concurrent CD is a common cause of gastrointestinal complaints in SSc patients.

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