Introduction: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), beside non-specific antibodies, present with organ-specific autoantibodies, including those typical of celiac disease (CD). In the pathogenesis of CD, a role is played by anti-tissue transglutaminase, anti-endomysium, and anti-gliadin (AGA) antibodies. CD can be comorbid with RA and pSS. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of AGA in RA and pSS patients and discussion of their clinical significance.
Material and methods: The study included 121 patients with RA and 30 patients with pSS. IgG AGA were determined by ELISA method. Additionally, the presence of IgG antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA) was determined in all patients. A further observation included patients with AGA.
Results: In the RA group, AGA were detected in five patients (4.1%), and in the pSS group - in two patients (6.7%). All patients in the pSS AGA (+) had AMA and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). These differences were statistically significant compared to the pSS AGA (-) and AMA (+) group (p=0.002) and the AGA (-) and AITD (+) group (p=0.003). At the time of the study, none of the patients had been diagnosed with CD.
Conclusions: AGA, typical of CD, are significantly more frequently detected in patients with RA and pSS than in the general population. The presence of autoantibodies may have an impact on the clinical picture of the disease and further medical procedures. CD testing is warranted in selected patients.