Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Clinical presentation and incidence of complications in patients with coeliac disease diagnosed by relative screening
  1. Neela Sundar,
  2. Rosemary Crimmins,
  3. Gillian Swift
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Neela Sundar
 Llandough Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Penlan Road, Penarth, Cardiff CF64 2XX, UK;neelasvu{at}


Background: There is an increased prevalence of coeliac disease (CD) among relatives of those with the disease.

Aims: To compare the clinical features in patients with CD detected via family screening with those in patients diagnosed routinely.

Methods: Information on screening was provided to relatives of patients. Those who wished to be screened were tested for endomysial and/or tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Duodenal biopsy was performed in those with positive antibodies. The clinical details of the relative screening group were compared with those of 105 patients diagnosed routinely.

Results: 183 relatives underwent screening, of whom 32 had positive serology, 24 had histology diagnostic of CD, six had normal biopsies and two declined duodenal biopsy. Patients in the relative screening group were younger with a median age of 33 years (range 17–72 years) compared to the routine group which had a median age of 54 years (range 25–88 years). In the relative screening group, there was a male preponderance (M:F ratio 16:8), anaemia at presentation was significantly less common (13% v 58%; p<0.001) and osteoporosis was less frequent (9% v 22%; p<0.244) compared with the routine group. 65% of the relative screening group had gastrointestinal symptoms or anaemia at diagnosis.

Conclusions: Patients detected by family screening are younger with a male preponderance, but fewer had anaemia and osteoporosis.

  • CD, coeliac disease
  • CI, confidence interval
  • DEXA, dual energy x ray absorptiometry
  • ELISA, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay
  • EMA, endomysial antibody
  • GI, gastrointestinal
  • IgA, immunoglobulin A
  • TTG, tissue transglutaminase
  • clinical features
  • coeliac disease
  • complications
  • osteoporosis
  • relative screening

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None.