Recurrent monoarthritis in an 11-year-old boy with occult coeliac disease. Successful and stable remission after gluten-free diet

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1999 Jul-Aug;17(4):509-11.


A case of occult coeliac disease (CD) presenting with recurrent monoarthritis in a boy aged 11 years is reported. The case is unique due to the association of occult untreated CD and arthritis in childhood. Peripheral or axial arthritis as a first manifestation of occult CD has been described in adult patients, with an interval between the arthritis and CD of up to 15 years. In our case the interval between the appearance of arthritis and the diagnosis of CD was 2 years. The boy was asymptomatic for bowel disease and his nutritional status was normal. The diagnosis of CD was established using anti-gliadin (AGA) and anti-endomysium (EMA) antibody tests and was confirmed by small bowel biopsy. The introduction of a gluten-free diet resulted in the persistent remission of arthritis. As the treatment of CD-associated arthritis is based on dietary therapy, physicians should be alert to the possibility of occult CD in any child with arthritis of unclear origin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / etiology*
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease* / diet therapy
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diet
  • Gliadin / immunology
  • Glutens / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Remission, Spontaneous


  • Autoantibodies
  • Glutens
  • Gliadin