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Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
CASTRO-ANTUNES, Margarida M. et al. Celiac disease in first-degree relatives of patients. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.4, pp. 331-336. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572010000400014.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of celiac disease and to describe the histological alterations, clinical manifestations, and conditions associated with a group of first-degree relatives of celiac disease patients in the municipality of Recife, Northeast Brazil. METHOD: The study was conducted in outpatient clinics of pediatric gastroenterology located in Recife. We included in the study 174 first-degree relatives who were screened for the anti-transglutaminase IgA antibody. Those relatives who had positive serological tests were invited to undergo a small intestine biopsy (classified according to Marsh). They were also evaluated regarding weight, height, clinical symptoms and conditions associated with celiac disease. The chi-square test and Fisher's exact test were used to assess the differences with a significance level of p < 0.05. RESULTS: The anti-transglutaminase IgA antibody was positive for 20.1% (34/174) of the relatives (95%CI 14.6-26.5). There was no difference in terms of positive serological tests regarding either degree of kinship or sex. Twenty-two patients underwent biopsy. Thirteen had histological alterations classified as Marsh stage 3; seven had stage 1; and two had stage zero, with a probable prevalence of 11.5%. All patients, except for one, had symptoms; the only patient with no symptoms was short. CONCLUSION: Celiac disease prevalence in this group of relatives was high. All new cases identified were symptomatic or had associated conditions. In this group, there was a high frequency of individuals with positive serological tests, symptoms suggestive of celiac disease, and no evidence of villous atrophy in the intestinal mucosa.
Keywords : Celiac disease; epidemiology; diagnosis; serology; pathology.