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      Predictors of slow responsiveness and partial mucosal recovery in adult patients with celiac disease


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          The present study aims to determine the rate of mucosal recovery and predictors of persistent mucosal damage after gluten free diet (GFD).


          Celiac disease (CD) is a complex multi-systemic autoimmune disease triggered by exposure to dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. There is still little evidence on the best method for assessing GFD adherence and mucosal recovery during treatment.


          The retrospective study included only adult patients (age≥18 years old), with biopsy-proven CD evaluated at a tertiary referral centre between 2016 and 2021. We performed a logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with partial mucosal recovery (MR) after GFD. We included in the multivariate analysis parameters available at the time of CD diagnosis.


          A total of 102 patients were enrolled, two thirds were females, median age of 39 years (yrs). The initial biopsy analysis showed different stages of villous atrophy (VA) in 79 (77.4%) cases, while in 23(22.5%) cases showed mild enteropathy (Marsh 1, 2). After at least 12 months of GFD, 26 (25.5%) patients had persistent VA despite good or excellent adherence to GFD. Younger patients (< 35yrs), who showed severe mucosal damage (Marsh 3c lesions) and who had increased anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) levels were at risk for failure to obtain mucosal recovery (MR). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that complete mucosal atrophy (P=0.007) and high AGA antibody levels (cutoff 129 U/ml, P=0.001) were independent risk factors for lack of mucosal improvement after at least 12 months of GFD. Interestingly, genotype, tTG-IgA antibody levels, or duration of GFD levels did not influence the occurrence of MR.


          Although AGA seropositivity has lost much of their diagnostic significance in recent years due to the introduction of the more sensitive and specific antibody tests, our study reported that patients aged < 35 yrs, who showed severe mucosal damage (Marsh 3c lesions) and who had increased AGA antibody levels at diagnosis were at risk for failure to obtain MR. The elevated AGA levels at diagnosis could be used as a prognostic tool for assessing MR.

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          Most cited references34

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          Celiac disease: a comprehensive current review

          Background Celiac disease remains a challenging condition because of a steady increase in knowledge tackling its pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, and possible therapeutic options. Main body A major milestone in the history of celiac disease was the identification of tissue transglutaminase as the autoantigen, thereby confirming the autoimmune nature of this disorder. A genetic background (HLA-DQ2/DQ8 positivity and non-HLA genes) is a mandatory determinant of the development of the disease, which occurs with the contribution of environmental factors (e.g., viral infections and dysbiosis of gut microbiota). Its prevalence in the general population is of approximately 1%, with female predominance. The disease can occur at any age, with a variety of symptoms/manifestations. This multifaceted clinical presentation leads to several phenotypes, i.e., gastrointestinal, extraintestinal, subclinical, potential, seronegative, non-responsive, and refractory. Although small intestinal biopsy remains the diagnostic ‘gold standard’, highly sensitive and specific serological tests, such as tissue transglutaminase, endomysial and deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies, have become gradually more important in the diagnostic work-up of celiac disease. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is a life-long, strict gluten-free diet leading to improvement in quality of life, ameliorating symptoms, and preventing the occurrence of refractory celiac disease, ulcerative jejunoileitis, and small intestinal adenocarcinoma and lymphoma. Conclusions The present review is timely and provides a thorough appraisal of various aspects characterizing celiac disease. Remaining challenges include obtaining a better understanding of still-unclear phenotypes such as slow-responsive, potential (minimal lesions) and seronegative celiac disease. The identification of alternative or complementary treatments to the gluten-free diet brings hope for patients unavoidably burdened by diet restrictions.
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            European Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease (ESsCD) guideline for coeliac disease and other gluten-related disorders

            This guideline presents recommendations for the management of coeliac disease (CD) and other gluten-related disorders both in adults and children. There has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of CD over the last 50 years and many patients remain undiagnosed. Diagnostic testing, including serology and biopsy, should be performed on a gluten-containing diet. The diagnosis of CD is based on a combination of clinical, serological and histopathological data. In a group of children the diagnosis may be made without biopsy if strict criteria are available. The treatment for CD is primarily a gluten-free diet (GFD), which requires significant patient education, motivation and follow-up. Slow-responsiveness occurs frequently, particularly in those diagnosed in adulthood. Persistent or recurring symptoms necessitate a review of the original diagnosis, exclude alternative diagnoses, confirm dietary adherence (dietary review and serology) and follow-up biopsy. In addition, evaluation to exclude complications of CD, such as refractory CD or lymphoma, should be performed. The guideline also deals with other gluten-related disorders, such as dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a cutaneous manifestation of CD characterized by granular IgA deposits in the dermal papillae. The skin lesions clear with gluten withdrawal. Also, less well-defined conditions such as non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and gluten-sensitive neurological manifestations, such as ataxia, have been addressed. Newer therapeutic modalities for CD are being studied in clinical trials but are not yet approved for use in practice.
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              Mucosal recovery and mortality in adults with celiac disease after treatment with a gluten-free diet.

              Clinical response is typically observed in most adults with celiac disease (CD) after treatment with a gluten-free diet (GFD). The rate of mucosal recovery is less certain. The aims of this study were (1) to estimate the rate of mucosal recovery after GFD in a cohort of adults with CD, and (2) to assess the clinical implications of persistent mucosal damage after GFD. The study group included adults with biopsy-proven CD evaluated at the Mayo Clinic who had duodenal biopsies at diagnosis and at least one follow-up intestinal biopsy to assess mucosal recovery after starting a GFD. The primary outcomes of interest were mucosal recovery and all-cause mortality. Of 381 adults with biopsy-proven CD, 241 (73% women) had both a diagnostic and follow-up biopsy available for re-review. Among these 241, the Kaplan-Meier rate of confirmed mucosal recovery at 2 years following diagnosis was 34% (95% confidence interval (CI): 27-40%), and at 5 years was 66% (95% CI: 58-74%). Most patients (82%) had some clinical response to GFD, but it was not a reliable marker of mucosal recovery (P=0.7). Serological response was associated with confirmed mucosal recovery (P=0.01). Poor compliance to GFD (P<0.01), severe CD defined by diarrhea and weight loss (P<0.001), and total villous atrophy at diagnosis (P<0.001) were strongly associated with persistent mucosal damage. There was a trend toward an association between achievement of mucosal recovery and a reduced rate of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio=0.13, 95% CI: 0.02-1.06, P=0.06), adjusted for gender and age. Mucosal recovery was absent in a substantial portion of adults with CD after treatment with a GFD. There was a borderline significant association between confirmed mucosal recovery (vs. persistent damage) and reduced mortality independent of age and gender. Systematic follow-up with intestinal biopsies may be advisable in patients diagnosed with CD as adults.

                Author and article information

                Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench
                Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench
                Gastroenterology and Hepatology From Bed to Bench
                Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Tehran, Iran )
                : 16
                : 2
                : 194-202
                [1 ] “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania
                [2 ] Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, “Saint Spiridon” County Hospital, Iași, Romania
                [3 ] Department of Pathology, “Saint Spiridon” County Hospital, Iasi, Romania
                [4 ] Department of Radiology, “Saint Spiridon” County Hospital, Iasi, Romania
                Author notes
                Reprint or Correspondence: Roxana Nemteanu, MD, PhD. Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, “Saint Spiridon” County Hospital, Iași, Romania. E-mail: maxim_roxxana@yahoo.com ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5905-4546

                This is an open-access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits others to copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 16 January 2023
                : 12 March 2023
                Original Article

                celiac disease,gluten free diet,tissue transglutaminase,mucosal recovery,mucosal healing


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