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Minerva Endocrinologica 2017 March;42(1):24-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.16.02366-X

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A retrospective evaluation of the association of celiac disease and growth hormone deficiency: more than a casual association?

Antonietta GIANNATTASIO 1, 2, Fabiola DI DATO 1, Valentina MINICUCCI 2, Miriam MARIANO 2, Maria I. SPAGNUOLO 1, Annamaria MACCHIAROLI 3, Raffaele IORIO 1

1 Department of Translational Medicine, Federico II University, Naples, Italy; 2 Department Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy; 3 Pediatric Endocrinology Reference Center, Cardarelli Hospital, Campobasso, Italy


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BACKGROUND: A transient dysfunction of the endocrine growth axis has been reported in celiac disease (CD). This apparent growth hormone deficiency (GHD) generally normalizes with the institution of a gluten-free diet (GFD). However, in few cases, the dysfunction of the GH axis persists despite a good adherence to the GFD. Aims of this study were to investigate pediatric patients with concurrent CD and GHD and to compare them with patients with isolated CD.
METHODS: Data regarding CD patients with and without associated GHD were retrospectively collected. Inclusion criteria were availability of anthropometric and laboratory data at baseline and regularly at the reference center up to a 2-year follow-up. In case of poor catch-up growth despite a good adherence to the GFD, endocrinological investigation was carried on.
RESULTS: Fifty-three patients with CD were included. Four (7.5%) out of 53 CD patients had a concurrent GHD. In two cases, firstly diagnosed with CD, GHD was suspected because of a poor catch-up growth despite a good adherence to the GFD. In two other cases, firstly diagnosed with GHD, gastrointestinal symptoms revealed the diagnosis of CD. Normalization of height velocity was achieved by GH treatment in all cases. No statistical significant difference between the two groups of patients was found as regard laboratory and histological features of CD. It is to note that 2 out of 4 patients with concomitant CD and GHD had thyroiditis compared to 6% of patients with isolated CD (P=0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of CD and GHD association was found. CD patients with poor catch-up growth despite a good adherence to the GFD should be carefully investigated for endocrine disorders.


KEY WORDS: Celiac disease - Human growth hormone - Hypopituitarism - Pituitary dwarfism - Gluten-free diet - Child

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