Copper levels in patients with celiac neuropathy

Shanna K Patterson, Peter H R Green, Christina A Tennyson, Suzanne K Lewis, Thomas H Brannagan
Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease 2012, 14 (1): 11-6

OBJECTIVE: Neurological complications of celiac disease (CD) include neuropathy, myeloneuropathy, and cerebellar degeneration. The cause of neuropathy in patients with CD is not known. Prior publications describe copper deficiency in CD patients with myeloneuropathy and neuropathy and posit that hypocupremia is the cause of these neurological conditions. However, based on our clinical experience, we hypothesized that CD patients with polyneuropathy are not deficient in copper.

METHODS: Patients who met diagnostic criteria for CD and peripheral neuropathy were included. We reviewed the patient's records, including assessment of serum copper level and other clinical parameters.

RESULTS: Eighteen patients met inclusion criteria. Sixteen patients (89%) had normal copper levels, 2 had mild hypercupremia, and none had low copper levels. Of the 18 patients, 4 (22%) had large fiber neuropathy and 14 (78%) had a small fiber neuropathy.

CONCLUSIONS: No patient in this study showed hypocupremia. We are unable to demonstrate a relationship between our CD patients with Peripheral Neuropathy and copper deficiency.

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