Value of clinical data in diagnosis of symptomatic celiac disease in children


Objective: To identify the value of clinical data in diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) in children.Patients and methods: a prospective study was conducted in Mosul city during the period from 30th of October 2007 to 30th of April 2011. A total of 57 patients (39 males, 18 females) aged more than 6 months on gluten containing diet presented with symptoms suggestive of (CD) were evaluated clinically and serologically using IgA human recombinant tissue transglutaminase antibody. (IgA anti tTG2). Multiple duodenal biopsies were performed for every patient enrolled in this study. CD cases had been followed up 6 months after a gluten free diet (GFD) by weight measurement and the mentioned serological testing. Results: A total of 29 (50.9%) out of 57 symptomatic patients with mean age of 56.1 months, demonstrated positive biopsy results for celiac disease. Failure to thrive (FTT) was noticeable in 25 (86.2%) of studied patients with celiac disease followed by anemia, abdominal distension, offensive stool and chronic diarrhea in decreasing frequency. Catch up of weight was not achieved in 10 (43.5%) out of 23 CD patients with FTT whose (IgA anti tTG2) normalized after 6 months of GFD.Conclusions: The diagnosis of celiac disease on the basis of clinical features alone was incorrect in (49.1%) cases, indicating that diagnosis and lifelong GFD treatment is not justifiable relying on clinical data. Catch up of weight cannot be relied upon as an early marker of clinical improvement in patients with proven adherence to GFD. The result of this study emphasizes the importance of increasing awareness of the accurate tools in diagnosis of CD in children based on serological and biopsy evidences. Keywords: Celiac disease, clinical diagnosis, catch up of weight.