Prevalence of celiac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis

Minerva Endocrinol. 2007 Dec;32(4):239-43.


Aim: Many autoimmune disorders are associated to celiac disease (CD) but the association with autoimmune thyroiditis has been more frequently documented; this is in part explained by a shared immunogenetic make-up, and in part caused to time gluten-exposition, as suggested by the significant correlation observed in celiac patients between the increase occurrence of autoimmune diseases and the length of exposure to gluten. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of celiac disease in a group of subjects with autoimmune thyroiditis newly diagnosed on the basis of antibodies anti-peroxidase (TPO).

Methods: A total of 113 untreated patients with TPO >70 IU/mL were enrolled. CD was screened by measuring anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) both IgA and IgG; an high prevalence of positive serology was resulting in this group, justified, in part, from EMA IgG investigation.

Results: In fact 31/113 patients showed IgA and/or IgG positivity and were diagnosed as celiacs with jejunal biopsy.

Conclusion: On the basis of this paper, such as in according to current research-setting studies, the greater frequency of CD in association to autoimmune thyroid disease suggests that all subjects with TPO should be routinely screened for CD, through EMA IgA and IgG. However, the performance of this screening has never been evaluated until now, even if it could, in fact, be valid in order to increment diagnosis of CD, today still undiagnosed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Celiac Disease / complications
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / complications*
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / diagnosis
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G