Latent coeliac disease in Italy. The SIGEP Working Group on Latent Coeliac Disease. Italian Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Acta Paediatr. 1995 Nov;84(11):1252-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1995.tb13543.x.


The term latent coeliac disease applies to patients who have a normal jejunal biopsy while taking a normal diet and, at some other time, before or since, have had a flat jejunal biopsy recovering on a gluten-free diet. Nineteen such patients were identified after a multicentre search conducted under the auspices of the Italian Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology (SIGEP). Serological data and histological material suitable for morphometric analysis were available from 10 and 8 patients, respectively, while they were on a gluten-containing diet. Neither gliadin antibodies nor increased density of intraepithelial lymphocytes are obligate markers of latent coeliac disease; endomysial antibodies are likely to be best predictors of evolution towards villous atrophy. Prospective studies are needed to allow a more precise definition of latent coeliac patient features.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Celiac Disease / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Therapy
  • Female
  • Gliadin / blood
  • Gliadin / immunology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Jejunum / ultrastructure
  • Lymphocytes
  • Male


  • Antibodies
  • Gliadin