The Prevalence of Celiac Autoantibodies in Hepatitis Patients
Celiac disease has been associated with other autoimmune disorders such as autoimmune hepatitis, moreover it is known that T cell mediated immune response to dietary gluten and released cytokines are important for the entheropathy seen in celiac disease. We investigated celiac autoantibodies in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), and chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
Sera from 84 patients with Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) type 1 and 88 patients with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) were tested for Immunoglobulin A and G antibodies to Gliadin, Immunoglobulin A antibodies to tissue transglutaminase using enzyme immunoassay, and Immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies by both indirect immunofluorescence, and enzyme immunoassay. The patients positive for anti-endomysial antibodies and/or anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies were considered for deuodenal biopsy. The study was approved by Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Disease Ethics Committee and all patients gave their written informed consent to participate.
Immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial and Immunoglobulin A anti-gliadin antibodies were positive in two out of 84 patients with AIH. Moreover, Immunoglobulin A anti-gliadin antibodies were positive in another patient who was also positive for anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Tissue transglutaminase antibodies were positive in eight (9.1%) of 88 patients with CHB, two of which were also positive for anti-endomysial antibodies. One of the patients with CHB was only positive for anti-endomysial antibodies.
Compared with the general population, the prevalence of celiac autoantibodies in CHB and AIH patients is relatively high, and it is noteworthy that most positive patients were asymptomatic for celiac disease. We suggest screening for celiac disease before and during treatment in patients with viral and autoimmune hepatitis.