The involvement of the peripheral nervous system in children with celiac disease is particularly rare.
The aim of this study was to assess the need for neurophysiological testing in celiac disease patients without neurological symptoms in order to detect early subclinical neuropathy and its possible correlations with clinical and demographic characteristics.
Two hundred and twenty consecutive children with celiac disease were screened for neurological symptoms and signs, and those without symptoms or signs were included. Also, patients with comorbidities associated with peripheral neuropathy or a history of neurological disease were excluded. The remaining 167 asymptomatic patients as well as 100 control cases were tested electro-physiologically for peripheral nervous system diseases. Motor nerve conduction studies, including F-waves, were performed for the median, ulnar, peroneal, and tibial nerves, and sensory nerve conduction studies were performed for the median, ulnar, and sural nerves with H reflex of the soleus muscle unilaterally. All studies were carried out using surface recording electrodes. Normative values established in our laboratory were used.
Evidence for subclinical neuropathy was not determined with electrophysiological studies in any of the participants.
In this highly selective celiac disease group without any signs, symptoms as well as the predisposing factors for polyneuropathy, we did not determine any cases with neuropathy. With these results we can conclude that in asymptomatic cases with celiac disease electrophysiological studies are not necessary. However, larger studies with the electrophysiological studies performed at different stages of disease at follow-ups are warranted.
Celiac disease; Peripheral nervous system diseases; Electrophysiological phenomena; Child