Background: The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of gluten sensitivity (GS) in a group of allergic patients and to assess the efficacy of a gluten-free diet (GFD) on the improvement of the symptomatology in those who were diagnosed with GS.
Methods: 262 unrelated allergic patients with gastrointestinal symptoms of obscure origin were tested for GS condition by biopsy. All patients were also genotyped for the typical celiac DQ2 and DQ8 molecules and investigated for several hematological parameters such as antigliadin and antiendomysial antibodies. Patients displaying mucosal lesions were invited to follow a GFD.
Results: Seventy-seven of the 262 allergic patients were positive to mucosal lesions, but negative to the antiAGA, antiEMA and to DQ2 and DQ8 molecules. We found, instead, a prevalence of the DQA1*05 allele, whereas anemia of inflammatory origin represented the predominant complaint in our subjects. The positive patients, who, after the GS diagnosis, followed a GFD, exhibited control of symptoms as well as stabilization of the hematological parameters even if allergic manifestations were not abated.
Conclusions: A nonceliac gluten-sensitive enteropathy (NCGSE) commonly occurs in allergic patients. Based on the high prevalence of NCGSE in allergy, it is recommended that biopsy should be part of the routine investigation of allergic disease to offer the benefits of treatment with a GFD to the patients.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.