[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD) has been epidemiologically associated with chronic hepatitis C (HCV), and CD activation after the initiation of interferon (IFN-alpha) in patients with HCV is documented. However, clear association of CD and HCV is lacking. A prospectively maintained database of 878 CD patients showed a prevalence of 0.68% (six patients). Symptoms of diarrhea, weight loss, and depression prompted the diagnosis of CD during or after IFN-alpha therapy in four cases. Also, 294 subjects with liver disease (195 with HCV, 80 normal controls and 19 disease controls) were prospectively screened for CD. The mean age of the subjects was 50.1 years (SD 12.3), 58% males:42% females. A total of 30% received IFN-alpha therapy (16% at the time of testing for CD). Two HCV patients (1%) had positive tTG-IgA but these had negative endomysial antibody (EMA) and normal duodenal biopsies. CD prevalence is not increased in patients with HCV. Routine screening of CD in HCV patients is not warranted, however, the presence of CD should be considered in the setting of clinical deterioration during or after IFN-alpha therapy.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 02/2008; 53(1):256-61. · 2.26 Impact Factor