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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


SDEPANIAN, Vera Lucia; MORAIS, Mauro Batista de  and  FAGUNDES-NETO, Ulysses. Celiac disease: clinical characteristics and methods used in the diagnosis of patients registered at the Brazilian Celiac Association. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.2, pp.131-138. ISSN 1678-4782.

OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the clinical characteristics and methods used in the diagnosis of patients registered at the Brazilian Celiac Association (BCA). METHODS: a questionnaire about clinical characteristics and diagnostic methods in celiac disease was mailed to 584 members of the BCA. RESULTS: we received 292 responses for 584 questionnaires mailed (49.5%). The clinical characteristics of celiac disease in the sample we analyzed showed that the most frequent type was the classical mode (88.9%), while the atypical mode was present in only 11.1% of patients at the time of diagnosis. Increased incidence of both late diagnosed classical mode (44.5% to 64.2%; P=.004) and atypical mode (5.2% to 16.8%; P=.005) has been observed in the last 5 years. Duration of symptoms before diagnosis was greater than 1 year in 75% patients with atypical manifestation. Intestinal biopsy was not performed in 19% of the cases at the time of diagnosis. It was observed that in the last 5 years intestinal biopsy was not performed for a larger number of patients (24.4%) than in the previous period (only 11.1%) (P=.007). CONCLUSIONS: classical mode is still the most frequent clinical manifestation of celiac disease. The late diagnosed classical mode is predominant, but our findings show an increase in the proportion of the atypical mode. Although characterization of subtotal or total villous atrophy of the intestinal mucosa is of paramount importance to the diagnosis of celiac disease, 19% of the patients diagnosed for celiac disease did not undergo intestinal biopsy at the time of diagnosis, most notably in the last 5 years.

Keywords : celiac disease; signs and symptoms; diagnosis; diarrhea; protein-energy malnutrition.

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