We determined the prevalence of celiac disease in subjects with autoimmune thyroiditis compared with sick and healthy subjects. The screening was performed with IgA-class endomysium antibody, by indirect immunofluorescence using human umbilical cord as the antigenic substrate. Six of the 172 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis were found to be anti-endomysium positive (3.4%) and five of these underwent intestinal biopsy, which showed total villous atrophy. By contrast, 3 (0.75%) of 396 patients with nongastroenterologic malignancies and 10 (0.25%) of 4000 blood donors were found to have celiac disease. The prevalence of autoimmune diseases was significantly higher in patients with both celiac disease and autoimmune thyroiditis than in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis alone (P = 0.01). This study confirms that celiac disease is increased among patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. We suggest that these patients may benefit from screening for celiac disease so as to eliminate symptoms and limit the risk of developing other autoimmune disorders.
Clinica Pediatrica, I.R.C.C.S. Burlo Garofolo, Trieste, Italy., , , , , , ,