Gluten ataxia is better classified as non-celiac gluten sensitivity than as celiac disease: a comparative clinical study
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Gluten ataxia (GA) has customarily been considered to be the main neurological manifestation of celiac disease (CD). In recent years, the condition of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) has been defined, which includes some patients who are not considered “true celiacs.” We performed a comparative clinicopathological study of these three entities. We studied 31 GA, 48 CD and 37 NCGS patients, prospectively in the same center for a period of 7 years. The protocol study included two serological determinations for gluten sensitivity [anti-gliadin IgA and IgG (AGA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA (TG) antibodies], HLA-DQ2 typing, and duodenal histological assessment. Demographics and investigative findings were compared. Females were 55 % in GA, 75 % in CD (p < 0.001), and 47 % in NCGS (N.S.). GA patients were older (59 ± 14 years) than CD (43 ± 13 years) and NCGS (41 ± 8 years) groups (p < 0.001). AGA positivity was higher in GA (100 %) than in CD (48 %) groups (p < 0.001), but similar to NCGS patients (89 %; N.S.); TG positivity was lower in GA (3.2 %) than in CD (33.3 %; p < 0.001), but similar to NCGS (2.7 %; N.S.). DQ2 (+) was lower in GA (32.2 %) than in CD (89.6 %; p < 0.001), but similar to NCGS (29.7 %; N.S.). Lymphocytic enteritis (Marsh type 1) was lower in GA (9.6 %) than in CD (66.7 %; p < 0.001), but similar to NCGS (10.8 %; N.S.). The other gluten sensitivity-related characteristics measured were different to CD patients, but very close to NCGS. We conclude that GA patients are better classified within the NCGS group, than within CD.
KeywordsGluten ataxia Non-celiac gluten sensitivity Celiac disease Comparative study
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
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