The diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease

Detlef Schuppan, Klaus-Peter Zimmer
Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 2013 December 6, 110 (49): 835-46

BACKGROUND: Celiac disease is an inflammatory disease of, the small intestine with a prevalence of roughly 0.5%-1%. Its symptoms arise in response to gluten consumption by genetically predisposed persons (HLA-DQ2/8). The autoantigen tissue transglutaminase (TG2) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.

METHOD: Selective review of pertinent literature, including guidelines from Germany and abroad.

RESULTS: Celiac disease can present at any age with gastrointestinal or extraintestinal manifestations (e.g., malabsorption or Duhring's dermatitis herpetiformis); it can also be found in association with other (auto-)immune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes. Most cases are oligosymptomatic. The wide differential diagnosis includes food intolerances, intestinal infections, and irritable bowel syndrome, among other conditions. The definitive diagnosis requires the demonstration of celiac disease-specific autoantibody to TG2 (endomysium), which is over 90% sensitive and far over 90% specific, and the characteristic histologic lesions of the small-bowel mucosa and remission on a gluten-free diet.

CONCLUSION: An understanding of celiac disease ought to inform everyday clinical practice in all medical disciplines, because this is a common condition with diverse manifestations that can be effectively diagnosed and easily treated for the prevention of both acute and long-term complications. Patients should follow a strictly gluten-free diet for life.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"