Celiac disease and short stature in children

Cristina Meazza, Sara Pagani, Chiara Gertosio, Elena Bozzola, Mauro Bozzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Celiac disease (CD) is a genetically determined gluten-sensitive enteropathy resulting in nutrient malabsorption, with an increasing incidence worldwide. In CD children, short stature may be the only presenting clinical feature, even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Generally, a gluten-free diet (GFD) leads to rapid catch-up growth within 1-2 years. The pathogenesis of CD-associated short stature is still unclear. Besides the involvement of the growth hormone (GH)/IGF-I axis, other pathogenetic mechanisms may include autoimmune disorders of the pituitary gland and altered ghrelin secretion. Furthermore, some CD patients do not show catch-up growth during a GFD, despite reversion to seronegativity for CD markers. These subjects may have GH deficiency and could benefit from GH therapy. This review deals with the problem of linear growth in CD children and points to the importance of the evaluation of GH secretion in those children who show no catch-up growth after the introduction of a GFD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Catch-up growth
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten free-diet
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Growth hormone treatment
  • IGF-I
  • Short stature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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