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, 50 (6), 823-7

Celiac Disease and Recurrent Pancreatitis


Celiac Disease and Recurrent Pancreatitis

R S Patel et al. Gastrointest Endosc.


Background: Celiac disease is associated with pancreatico-biliary disease. Postulated mechanisms include reduced gallbladder emptying due to impaired cholecystokinin release and pancreatitis due to malnutrition. We hypothesize that celiac disease may also be associated with pancreatico-biliary abnormalities due to duodenal inflammation and papillary stenosis.

Methods: Over a 48-month period, 169 patients referred for possible sphincter of Oddi dysfunction who underwent pancreatico-biliary manometry were tested for gliadin and endomysial antibodies. Duodenal and papillary biopsies were preformed in those patients who were positive.

Results: Celiac disease was diagnosed in 12 (7.1%; 3 men, 9 women). The mean age was 61 years as compared with 37 years for those patients without celiac disease. All of the celiac patients had been referred for recurrent abdominal pain and/or idiopathic pancreatitis. Ten had idiopathic recurrent pancreatitis with elevated amylase and lipase levels. Two of these patients also had mildly elevated liver function tests associated with the abdominal pain. Only 3 of 12 patients had a prior diagnosis of celiac disease. These 12 patients had manometric evidence of stenosis and histologic evidence of periampullary inflammation as well as histologic changes consistent with celiac disease. In 10 of 12 patients sphincterotomy or extension of a prior papillotomy was performed. Two patients were treated with a gluten-free diet alone.

Conclusions: We describe 12 patients with papillary stenosis and celiac disease. In 9 cases the celiac disease was a new diagnosis. Celiac disease should be considered in the etiology of papillary stenosis or idiopathic recurrent pancreatitis.

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