Clinical aspects of coeliac disease in children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Renata Lorini, Andrea Scaramuzza, Letizia Vitali, Giuseppe D'Annuuzio, M. Antonietta Avanzini, Costantino De Giacomo, Francesca Severi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coeliac disease (CD) is heterogeneous in its clinical presentation and pathological expression. Silent, latent and potential forms represent the submerged part of the so-called 'coeliac iceberg'. The association of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and CD has been widely reported. For the screening of CD in diabetic patients, anti-reticulin R1 (ARA-R1) and anti-endomysium (AEA) antibodies are more reliable markers than anti-gliadin (AGA) antibodies. Recent studies have reported an increased prevalence of CD in children with IDDM. In our experience intestinal biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of CD in 6 out of 172 diabetic patients, with a prevalence of 3.5%. Only occasionally does CD precede the onset of IDDM; more often CD is diagnosed shortly or sometimes years after the onset of diabetes. Typical gastrointestinal complaints of CD (such as diarrhoea, abdominal distension) are rare in IDDM patients, while atypical isolated signs or symptoms of CD are more common, in particular sideropenic anemia, short stature, delayed puberty, epilepsy, hypertransaminasemia, dyspeptic symptoms, herpetiform dermatitis, and recurrent aphthous stomatitis. It is recommended that all diabetic children, even those asymptomatic, should be screened yearly for CD, using a combination of AGA plus ARA-R1 and AEA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Anti-gliadin antibodies
  • Anti-reticulin antibodies anti-endomysium antibodies
  • Coeliac disease
  • Gluten-free diet
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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