Prevalence of celiac disease in nutritional anemia at a tertiary care center.

Indian journal of gastroenterology : official journal of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology

PubMedID: 23996798

Kavimandan A, Sharma M, Verma AK, Das P, Mishra P, Sinha S, Mohan A, Sreenivas V, Datta Gupta S, Makharia GK. Prevalence of celiac disease in nutritional anemia at a tertiary care center. Indian J Gastroenterol. 2013;.
While anemia occurs in 80 % to 90 % of patients with celiac disease (CD), it may be the sole manifestation of CD. The prevalence of CD in Indian patients with nutritional anemia is not known.

Adolescent and adult patients presenting with nutritional anemia were prospectively screened for CD using IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (anti-tTG Ab) followed, if positive, by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and duodenal biopsy.

Ninety-six patients [mean?±?SD age 32.1?±?13.1 years and median duration of anemia 11 months (range 1 to 144 months)] were screened. Of these patients, 80 had iron deficiency anemia, 11 had megaloblastic anemia, and 5 had dimorphic anemia. Seventy-three patients were on hematinics and 36.4 % had received blood transfusions. Nineteen had a history of chronic diarrhea and the mean?±?SD duration of diarrhea in them was 9.7?±?35.8 months. IgA anti-tTG Ab was positive in 13 patients, of whom 12 agreed to undergo duodenal biopsy. Ten patients had villous atrophy (Marsh grade 3a in three, 3b in one, and 3c in six) and two did not. Thus, 10 patients with nutritional anemia (iron deficiency 9, vitamin B12 deficiency 1) were diagnosed to have CD. On multivariate logistic regression, age, duration of symptoms, and presence of diarrhea were found to be the predictors of CD. All the patients with CD were put on gluten-free diet and with iron and vitamin supplementations and showed a significant improvement in hemoglobin concentration.

CD screening should be included in the work up of otherwise unexplained nutritional anemia.