Celiac disease with mild to moderate histologic changes is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in Indian children.
ABSTRACT In developed countries, small bowel histology in coeliac disease is a spectrum, ranging from normal with increased intraepithelial lymphocytes to the classic flat mucosa. In developing countries, mild to moderate enteropathies in children with chronic diarrhea and growth failure are assumed to be caused by tropical sprue, persistent infections, or malnutrition with bacterial overgrowth. We report the prevalence and histology of coeliac disease in children with chronic diarrhea at a tertiary referral hospital in North India.
Two hundred fifty-nine children with symptoms indicating coeliac disease attended the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Histology was graded after a modified Marsh classification. Serum immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies (AEA) were assayed using indirect immunofluorescence. Subjects with abnormal histology and positive AEA were put on a gluten free diet (GFD). Coeliac disease was diagnosed on small intestinal biopsy changes and a clinical response to a GFD.
Severe enteropathies were present in 63 (24%) subjects, and 58 (92%) responded to a GFD. Sixty-six (25%) had moderate histologic changes, 61 responding to a GFD. AEA was positive in 56 of 63 patients with severe and 65 of 66 with moderate enteropathies. Fifty-seven children had mild enteropathies, and 19 of 20 with positive AEA responded clinically to a GFD.
Coeliac disease is more common than previously believed. It presents a variable histology, and diagnoses may be missed or delayed if based only on severe enteropathies. Serology is a useful adjunct to diagnosis, and diagnostic criteria need to be developed appropriately for coeliac disease in developing countries despite limited facilities.
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ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) is a type of intestinal malabsorption syndrome, in which the patients are intolerant to the gliadin in dietary gluten, resulting in chronic diarrhea and secondary malnutrition. The disease is common in Europe and the United States, but only sporadic reports are found in East Asia including China. Is CD really rare in China? We examined 62 patients by capsule endoscopy for chronic diarrhea from June 2003 to March 2008. Four patients with chronic diarrhea and weight loss were diagnosed to have CD. Under the capsule endoscopy, we observed that the villi of the proximal small bowel became short, and that the mucous membrane became atrophied in these four patients. Duodenal biopsies were performed during gastroscopy and the pathological changes of mucosa were confirmed to be Marsh 3 stage of CD. A gluten free diet significantly improved the conditions of the four patients. We suspect that in China, especially in the northern area where wheat is the main food, CD might not be uncommon, and its under-diagnosis could be caused by its clinical manifestations that could be easily covered by the symptoms from other clinical situations, particularly when it came to subclinical patients without obvious symptom or to patients with extraintestinal symptoms as the initial manifestations.Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 04/2009; 10(3):168-71. · 1.10 Impact Factor
Article: Tropical malabsorption.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Malabsorption is an important clinical problem both in visitors to the tropics and in native residents of tropical countries. Infections of the small intestine are the most important cause of tropical malabsorption. Protozoal infections cause malabsorption in immunocompetent hosts, but do so more commonly in the setting of immune deficiency. Helminth infections occasionally cause malabsorption or protein-losing enteropathy. Intestinal tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis and small-bowel bacterial overgrowth are important causes of tropical malabsorption. In recent years, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease have become major causes of malabsorption in the tropics. Sporadic tropical sprue is still an important cause of malabsorption in adults and in children in South Asia. Investigations to exclude specific infective, immunological or inflammatory causes are important before considering tropical sprue as a diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the management of tropical sprue and presents an algorithm for its investigation and management.Postgraduate medical journal 01/2007; 82(974):779-87. · 1.38 Impact Factor
Article: Diagnosis of celiac disease.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Celiac disease is an immune mediated enteropathy initiated by ingestion of gluten, in genetically susceptible individuals. With changing epidemiology, celiac disease initially thought to affect only Europeans, has been increasingly reported from other parts of the world including India. However, its true prevalence in India is still not known, as the diagnosis is being missed. The gold standards for diagnosis have been characteristic small intestinal mucosal changes on gluten and a full clinical remission on its removal from the diet. Presence of serological antibodies, which disappear on gluten free diet further confirms the diagnosis. The understanding of the histopathology of celiac disease has changed over the years. The small bowel mucosal lesion of celiac disease is an evolutionary process with normal mucosal architecture and an increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes at one end of the spectrum and classical flat mucosa at the other. In the Indian subcontinent celiac disease has a heterogeneous histological presentation and the diagnosis may be missed if it is based only on severe mucosal changes or the serology is not considered when moderate or mild mucosal changes are present. The last two decades have shown that antiendomysical (Anti EMA) and anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies (anti-tTGA) have a sensitivity and specificity of more than 95% to diagnose celiac disease. Anti EMA tests being operator dependent are more liable to errors and anti- tTGA may be preferred for large scale screening. However, the different source of tTGA antigen, varied techniques of production and the use of arbitrary units by different commercial kits can influence the diagnostic accuracy of the anti-tTGA assay. There is a strong genetic association of celiac disease with HLA-DQ2 or DQ8. The presence of HLA-DQ2 hetrodimer in more than 97% of a group of North Indian patients with celiac disease indicates that this population has a similar genetic risk for the disease. HLA DQ2 typing can be used for ruling out celiac disease where the diagnosis is equivocal as it has a negative predictive value of greater than 95%. Given the protean clinical manifestation and the heterogeneous histology a standard algorithm for diagnosis of celiac disease is important.The Indian Journal of Pediatrics 09/2006; 73(8):703-9. · 0.52 Impact Factor