Celiac disease in children and adolescents: special considerations
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Although there are many commonalities between adult and pediatric celiac disease (CD), special considerations must be taken into account when working with children and adolescents. In this patient population, there are unique aspects of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, presentation, diagnosis, and management of CD. In terms of management, early and timely recognition of CD can maximize childhood and adolescent development and prevent complications. This requires insight into the unique presentations of CD in the pediatric population. Furthermore, health care providers must use proper screening methods and continue surveillance of at-risk individuals throughout childhood. Potential interventions for primary prevention of CD in children, although not completely understood, may offer some benefit. The goals of this article are to discuss in detail these special considerations when dealing with pediatric CD.