The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 73, Issue 9, pp 809–811

Liver involvement in celiac disease

Symposium on Hepatology and Gastroenterology—II

DOI: 10.1007/BF02790391

Cite this article as:
Maggiore, G. & Caprai, S. Indian J Pediatr (2006) 73: 809. doi:10.1007/BF02790391


Celiac disease may present as a cryptogenic liver disorder being found in 5–10% of patients with a persistent and cryptogenetic elevation of serum aminotransferase activity. In fact, a wide spectrum of liver injuries in children and adults may be related to CD and in particular: (1) a mild parenchymal damage characterised by absence of any clinical sign or symptom suggesting a chronic liver disease and by non-specific histological changes reversible on a gluten-free diet; (2) a chronic inflammatory liver injury of autoimmune mechanism, including autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis, that may lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis, generally unaffected by gluten withdrawal and necessitating an immunosuppressive treatment; (3) a severe liver failure potentially treatable by a gluten-free diet. Such different types of liver injuries may represent a spectrum of a same disorder where individual factors, such as genetic predisposition, precocity and duration of exposure to gluten may influence the reversibility of liver damage. A rigorous cross-checking for a asymptomatic liver damage in CD individuals and conversely, for CD in any cryptogenic liver disorder including end-stage liver failure is recommended.

Key words

Celiac disease Autoimmune liver disease Acute liver failure Cryptogenic liver damage 

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Reproductive Medicine and Child DevelopmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Gastroenterology and Liver Unit and IsMeTTUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Medicina della Procreazione e della Età EvolutivaUniversitá di PisaPisaItaly

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