Evidence for immunogenetic predisposition in children with celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease

D. Larizza, V. Calcaterra, O. Luinetti, L. Villani, A. De Silvestri, M. Autelli, E. Coslovich, M. Martinetti, C. De Giacomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Occurrence of autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) among patients with celiac disease (CD) is well documented, but the prevalence of CD among children with ATD is unclear. Study design: 90 children with ATD (68 with autoimmune thyroiditis, 22 with Graves' disease) were evaluated. All patients were screened for CD by antiendomysium antibodies (EMA) and those with positive sera underwent intestinal biopsy. All ATD patients were typed for HLA class I and II polymorphisms by serology. High resolution typing for HLA- DQAI and DQB1 alleles was performed in 85 patients in order to evaluate the presence of celiac-susceptible DQ heterodimers. Results: EMA were positive in 7 patients (7.8%) and CD was histologically confirmed in all. From a clinical point of view, 1 patient had a retrospective history of iron deficiency anemia and inappetence, 1 had diarrhoea and 1 short stature. The remaining subjects were asymptomatic. Gluten-free diet had no beneficial effects on thyroid function, except in 1 girl who stopped replacement therapy after five years. The prevalence of CD in this pediatric series with ATD (1:13) resulted higher than in adults ATD pts (1:30) and Italian pediatric population (1:200). The celiac-susceptible heterodimer DQA1*0501, DQB1*02 was found in 100% of the CD patients, in 34.6% of the non-CD pts with ATD and in 15.4% of the controls, thus confirming the positive correlation between the presence of susceptible immunogenetic markers and CD. Conclusion: Serological screening for CD is strongly recommended in children with ATD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Medicine, Biology and the Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten
  • HLA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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