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February 1981

Small-Bowel Mucosa in Asymptomatic Children With Celiac Disease: Mucosal Changes With Gluten-free Diets

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(2):118-121. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130260010004

• Even though children with celiac disease may appear to be progressing satisfactorily while taking gluten-free diets, dietary lapses and persisting mucosal abnormalities are common. Of 32 children with celiac disease proven by biopsy only ten kept regularly to their diet, and 11 continued to ingest gluten regularly. Despite satisfactory clinical progress, intestinal biopsy specimens obtained after at least one year of a gluten-free diet were markedly abnormal in eight and were normal in only 14 children. Laboratory criteria also failed to detect those with persisting mucosal abnormalities. The only way to ensure that the small-bowel mucosa returns to normal and remains so is by intestinal biopsy.

(Am J Dis Child 1981;135:118-121)