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The possible link between coeliac and Kawasaki diseases in Brazil: a cross-sectional study

14 Feb 2018

Background

Kawasaki disease (KD) is a self-limited acute systemic vasculitis of unknown aetiology that predominantly affects infants and young children eventually associated with immunological abnormalities. Coeliac disease (CD) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease characterised by a permanent gluten intolerance, which affects genetically susceptible individuals of any age group, and can cause intestinal and systemic symptoms. Association of CD with KD has been previously described in a single study that disclosed a surprisingly high prevalence of CD in children with a history of KD.

Objective

To confirm the existence of a higher prevalence of CD among individuals with a history of KD, which would turn the screening for CD in patients with history of KD highly advisable.

Setting

Children with history of KD, diagnosed and followed at the Rheumatology Clinic of the Children’s Hospital of Brasilia (Brasilia, Brazil).

Participants

This study included 110 children with history of KD and a control group composed of 110 presumably healthy children.

Interventions

Participants underwent anti-transglutaminase and anti-endomysial antibodies tests and genetic typing for the presence of CD predisposing alleles (HLA-DQ2 and DQ8). Jejunal biopsy was performed when necessary, according the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition guidelines.

Results

Diagnosis of CD was confirmed in one (0.91%) patient with KD by positive serological tests, presence of predisposing alleles and CD typical lesions on duodenal biopsy. All serological tests were negative among the controls. The prevalence of CD predisposing alleles among patients with KD was 29.09%, similar to the prevalence found among controls, 33.64%.

Conclusion

The detected CD prevalence (0.91%) does not confirm the existence of an association between KD and CD since this prevalence is similar to that found in the general population (~=1%).

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open

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