Does The Degree of Villous Atrophy Affect Long-Term Outcomes with Celiac Disease? Plus One

S Kroger et al. JPGN 2020; 71: 71-7.  This study, conducted from 1966-2014, examined long-term outcomes of individuals diagnosed with celiac disease in childhood. This study examined 906 children and sent questionnaires to 503 adults (212 responded) who were diagnosed in childhood.

Key findings:

  • More recent diagnosis (after 2006) has been associated with children having milder lesions, more often diagnosis due to screening (rather than symptoms) 30% vs. 25%, less anemia (16% vs 21%), less growth disturbances (22% vs. 36%), and lower TTG-2 titers (mean 64 U/L vs 120 U/L.
  • Among adults completing questionnaire, severity of villous atrophy at childhood diagnosis did not predict complications, persistent symptoms, quality of life, or adherence with glute-free diet

RV Lopez et al. JPGN 2020; 71: 59-63. Influence of the 2012 European Guidelines in Diagnosis and Follow-up of Coeliac Children With Selective IgA Deficiency. This study showed that the guidelines were used incorrectly for individuals with selective IgA deficiency, using a 10-fold elevation of TTG IgG instead of TTG IgA. The associated editorial (pg 2 by P Gillett) recommends “we should perform endoscopy in all sIgAD patients.”  In addition, this population may merit followup endoscopy at much lower threshold due to difficulty using serology for follow-up.

My take: Children with severe villous atrophy due to celiac disease can respond fully to a gluten-free diet.  In the small subset of individuals with selective IgA deficiency, a no-biopsy diagnosis is not recommended.

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