Upper gastrointestinal motor abnormalities in children with active celiac disease

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1995 Nov;21(4):435-42. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199511000-00011.


Although from the clinical point of view a GI motor disorder can be suspected in celiac disease, objective evidence for this is still lacking. We therefore conducted a study on children with active celiac disease to detect possible GI motor abnormalities in this disease. Fourteen children (age range, 1-13 years) were studied; they underwent fasting and fed manometric recordings in the gastroduodenojejunal area. Four patients were restudied after a 6-month gluten-free diet. Data were compared with those obtained in eight control children. As compared with controls, celiac disease patients showed a shorter duration of activity fronts (p < 0.01) and a significant (p < 0.01) reduction of the postprandial antral motility index; furthermore, > 90% of the patients displayed marked fasting and/or fed motor abnormalities, suggesting a neuropathic disorder. Interestingly, gut dysmotilities disappeared in the four subjects reassessed after the gluten-free diet. It is concluded that celiac disease frequently affects the motor behavior of the gut and that its effects may be reversed by appropriate diet.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy
  • Celiac Disease / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Duodenum / physiopathology
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Food
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Glutens / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Jejunum / physiopathology
  • Male


  • Glutens