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 24 November 2017

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Impact of interferon treatment on celiac disease onset and outcome

November's Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology finds that activation of silent celiac disease during interferon treatment in Hep C patients is almost universal, but it uncommonly requires interferon treatment discontinuation.

News image

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Researchers from Italy undertook a study to assess the impact of interferon treatment on celiac disease onset in hepatitis C patients and to clarify its clinical relevance and outcome.

Hepatitis C is associated with autoimmunity, which can be exacerbated by interferon treatment.

Cases of celiac disease activation during interferon treatment have been reported.

In this retrospective study, the researchers included 534 hepatitis C patients with or without symptoms compatible with celiac disease onset during interferon treatment and 225 controls.

The researchers assayed anti-transglutaminase antibodies and typed HLA-DQA1 and -B1 loci.

The research team confirmed the diagnosis in antibody-positive patients using upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

86% of patients with anti-transglutaminase antibodies showed activation of celiac disease while on interferon
Journal of Clinical Gatroenterology

Anti-transglutaminase antibodies were detected before treatment in 1.3% of hepatitis C patients and in 0.4% of controls (not significant).

The researchers found that 86% of patients with anti-transglutaminase antibodies showed activation of celiac disease while on interferon.

The team noted that symptoms ranged from mild to severe, and interferon had to be discontinued in 2 of 7 (29%) patients.

In addition, the researchers found that symptoms disappeared in 6 of 7 patients fter interferon withdrawal.

Onset of symptoms compatible with celiac disease during interferon therapy was significantly associated with the presence of anti-transglutaminase antibodies.

Dr Durante-Mangoni concluded, "In hepatitis C patients, the activation of silent celiac disease during interferon treatment is almost universal and should be suspected, but it uncommonly requires interferon treatment discontinuation."

"Symptoms subside after interferon withdrawal."

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology; 2004: 38(10):901-905
29 October 2004

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