Gliadin antibodies identify gluten-sensitive oral ulceration in the absence of villous atrophy

J Oral Pathol Med. 1991 Nov;20(10):476-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.1991.tb00407.x.


This study demonstrates gluten-sensitive recurrent oral ulceration (ROU) in the absence of gastrointestinal abnormalities which is associated with a humoral response to wheat protein. Ten patients with severe ROU were investigated; all had normal small intestinal biopsies. Four patients had raised levels of antibodies to alpha gliadin, a wheat protein fraction; in three of these four, the ulceration remitted on treatment with a gluten-free diet (G.F.D.) and relapsed on gluten challenge. None of the remaining six patients had raised alpha gliadin antibody (AGA) levels and none responded to G.F.D. Thus raised AGA levels can be used to identify patients with ROU who are likely to respond to a GFD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • Glutens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / diet therapy
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / etiology*
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / immunology
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / pathology


  • Antibodies
  • Glutens
  • Gliadin