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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MANCILLA A, Carla et al. Adult celiac disease: clinical experience . Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.11, pp.1317-1321. ISSN 0034-9887.

The prevalence of celiac disease (CD) is unknown in Chile. We have recently noted a rise in the number of cases diagnosed among adults. Aim: To describe the clinical characteristics of a group of adult celiac patients. Patients and methods: Clinical data of patients older than 15 years with positive antitransglutaminase or antiendomysial autoantibodies and a duodenal biopsy characteristic of CD were retrospectively reviewed. Age at diagnosis, symptoms and signs and laboratory, endoscopic and histological findings, were analyzed. Results: Thirty seven patients (28 women), were studied. Median age at diagnosis was 41 years (range 15-69). Main symptoms and signs were diarrhea (78%), weight loss (38%) and abdominal pain (38%). Anemia was found in 49%, elevation of ESR in 57%, elevation of alkaline phosphatases in 54%, elevation of aspartate aminotransferase in 38% and a rise in alanine aminotransferase in 27%. Antiendomysial antibodies were positive in 17/22 (77%) and antitransglutaminase in 19/22 (86%) patients. Endoscopic findings were suggestive of CD in 47% of cases and duodenal biopsy showed intestinal villi atrophy in 34 (92%) patients. The three patients with normal histology had positive serology and a good response to gluten free diet. Conclusions: CD should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with unespecific digestive symptons, even when they present late in adult life. Serologic markers are a good diagnostic tool. A normal duodenal pathology does not exclude the diagnosis, if other diagnostic features are present

Keywords : Celiac disease; Gluten; Transglutaminase.

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