Background: Celiac disease (CD) often manifests with dyspeptic symptoms and chronic gastritis is a common finding.
Aim: To evaluate the frequency of lymphocytic gastritis (LG), chronic active gastritis (CAG), and chronic inactive gastritis (CIG) in patients with CD, before and after gluten-free diet (GFD).
Methods: A five-year prospective study including all consecutive patients with a new diagnosis of CD was conducted. Gastric and duodenal biopsy specimens taken both at the time of the CD diagnosis and at the first endoscopic control after 18-24 months on GFD were evaluated.
Results: 213 patients with CD were enrolled. At the time of the diagnosis, 42 patients (19.7%) showed normal gastric mucosa, 34 (15.9%) LG, 67 (31.5%) CAG, and 70 (32.9%) CIG. Out of the 34 patients with LG, all were Helicobacter pylori negative and the majority of them showed an improvement both of gastritis (94.1%) and duodenal lesions (82.3%) after GFD. GFD did not show significant effects on CAG and CIG.
Conclusions: LG is present in 16% of CD patients, it is not associated with H. pylori infection, and it improves after GFD. Both CAG and CIG are also frequently associated with CD, but fail to respond to a GFD.
Keywords: Celiac disease; chronic active gastritis; chronic inactive gastritis; lymphocytic gastritis.