Celiac disease has become more common than in the past, although it frequently remains undetected for long periods of time.
A reason for this is failure by health care professionals to recognize the variable clinical manifestations of the disease and to perform appropriate tests for diagnosis.
Although dyspepsia may be part of a clinical spectrum in celiac disease patients, there are scarce data about its prevalence in silent celiac disease.
Dr Ersan Özaslan and colleagues from Turkey determined the prevalence of celiac disease in otherwise healthy dyspeptic patients.
The research team conducted serologic screening followed by endoscopic biopsies if appropriate.
The team found anti-endomysium antibody assay was positive in 3 of 196 patients.
|The prevalence of celiac disease was 2%|
|Digestive Diseases and Sciences|
All 3 were female with an age range from 19 to 52 years.
The researchers found that duodenal biopsies were compatible with celiac disease in all of these patients.
The team noted abnormal endoscopic findings were noted in 2 patients.
Therefore, the researchers observed a 2% prevalence of celiac disease in this study group.
The odds ratio for celiac disease was 2.6 in comparison with the general population.
The team emphasized that celiac disease should be kept in mind as a cause of dyspepsia during clinical activities.
Although the association between these 2 conditions is, at most, weak, a gluten-free diet may still bring symptomatic relief for dyspeptic symptoms in celiac disease.
The team encouraged that during endoscopic examination for dyspepsia, endoscopists should carefully inspect the duodenum for celiac disease findings.
Dr Özaslan's team concluded, “Although routine serologic screening can not be recommended, it may be appropriate for the patients with refractory dyspepsia, especially females.”