Adult celiac disease with severe or partial villous atrophy: a comparative study.Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2008 Mar; 32(3):236-42.GC
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
While severe villous atrophy (SVA) is the most typical histological feature in adult celiac disease (ACD), partial villous atrophy (PVA) is now also frequently found. So far, the impact of the severity of villous atrophy on the clinical presentation of ACD has been scarcely investigated. We aimed to compare the clinical, biological and immune features and outcomes in ACD patients presenting with PVA at diagnosis versus patients with SVA.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Medical files of 48 patients with ACD diagnosed between 1992 and 2003 were retrospectively studied. The diagnosis was based on the presence of intestinal villous atrophy, with increases in intraepithelial lymphocytes and circulating celiac specific antibodies. Villous atrophy was classified as severe (subtotal and total) or partial. Symptoms, biological signs of malabsorption, immune markers, bone mineral density at diagnosis and response to gluten-free diet were recorded.
At diagnosis, ten patients (four M/six F) had PVA and 38 patients (five M/33 F) had SVA, with a median age of 54 and 33 years, respectively (p<0.05). Positivity for specific antibodies, HLA typing and frequency of autoimmune disease at diagnosis were similar in both PVA and SVA patients, as was their response to gluten-free diet. Diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome and osteopenia were independent of the degree of villous atrophy.
PVA was observed in 21% of patients with ACD. Except for their older age at diagnosis, patients with PVA presented with similar clinical, biological and immune characteristics and outcomes as did patients with SVA.