Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Northeastern Brazil

Bernardo Times Carvalho, Valeria Martinelli, Contancia Constant, Eduardo Sampaio Siqueira


AIM: Evaluate the prevalence of celiac disease in patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease followed at the General Hospital - UFPE. Celiac disease represents an autoimmune enteropathy related to gluten intolerance, causing chronic inflammation, especially of the small intestine. The typical clinical presentation is marked by disabsorptive diarrhea, abdominal distension and malnutrition. Atypical forms, however, have been increasingly documented, demonstrating that the occurrence of the disease, previously considered rare, may reach 1% of the population in some series. Some recent case reports and more recent cross-sectional studies have suggested higher prevalence of celiac disease in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: As screening test, anti-endomysial IgA antibodies were measured by indirect immunofluorescence in 83 patients with confirmed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or idiopathic ulcerative colitis, in order to select those who would be referred for duodenal biopsy.

RESULTS: No test was positive for anti-endomysial antibodies.

CONCLUSION: Despite the small number of patients evaluated, it can be suggested that there is no higher prevalence of celiac disease in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.


Celiac disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis; Antibodies

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