Indexed on: 14 Mar '02Published on: 14 Mar '02Published in: BMC gastroenterology
An increased prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis has been recently reported. However, in other studies the association has not been confirmed. There have been no formal attempts to systematically evaluate patients with autoimmune cholangitis for coeliac disease.Sera from 62 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 17 with autoimmune cholangitis and 100 blood donors were screened for anti-gliadin, anti-endomysial, anti-reticulin, and IgA class antibodies to guinea pig liver-derived tissue transglutaminase. Eighteen untreated coeliacs served as methodological controls. Analyses were performed by using the χ2 and Fischer's exact tests.Anti-gliadin antibodies were detected in 21% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 35% of patients with autoimmune cholangitis, and 3% of controls (p < 0.001). IgA class gliadin antibodies positivity was more pronounced in patients with Scheuer's stage III-IV disease (p < 0.05). Anti-transglutaminase antibodies were detected in 10% and in 18% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis respectively (p < 0.001). Anti-reticulin and anti-endomysial antibodies were negative in all patients. Duodenal biopsies were performed in 59% and 71% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis respectively, tested positive for at least one antibody class. No histological features of coeliac disease were found.We were unable to demonstrate an increased risk of coeliac disease in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis. Our results confirm the previously reported high prevalence of false-positive anti-gliadin and guinea pig liver-derived anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies in patients with chronic liver disease.