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Diagnostic Testing Algorithms for Celiac Disease


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Clinical Features of Celiac Disease

Slide 3

updated June 2011

The clinical symptoms generally associated with celiac disease are a result of the intestinal inflammation and villous atrophy.

Patients may present with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.  Adult patients with longer-standing disease may show symptoms of malnutrition, including iron-deficient anemia and osteoporosis.  Children may present with a failure to thrive.

The point to stress here is that the symptoms of celiac disease are generally nonspecific, sometimes making for a challenging diagnosis.

Patients with celiac disease may have evidence of immunologic abnormalities, specifically a selective IgA deficiency.  This type of IgA deficiency occurs approximately 10-fold more frequently in patients with celiac disease as compared to the general population.  IgA deficiency is important to recognize because, as we will discuss later, many specific antibody tests used to diagnose celiac disease detect antibodies of the IgA isotype.  Celiac disease is also associated with other several autoimmune endocrine and liver disorders.  In addition, dermatitis herpetiformis occurs frequently in patients with celiac disease and is associated with one of the same autoantibodies implicated in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.

Clinical Features of Celiac Disease


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