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Oats to children with newly diagnosed coeliac disease: a randomised double blind study
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Laboratory Medicine Östergötland, Pathology, Norrköping Hospital, Sweden.
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2004 (English)In: Gut, ISSN 0017-5749, E-ISSN 1468-3288, Vol. 53, no 5, 649-654 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Treatment of coeliac disease (CD) requires lifelong adherence to a strict gluten free diet (GFD) which hitherto has consisted of a diet free of wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Recent studies, mainly in adults, have shown that oats are non-toxic to CD patients. In children, only open studies comprising a small number of patients have been performed.

Aim: To determine if children with CD tolerate oats in their GFD.

Patients and methods: In this double blind multicentre study involving eight paediatric clinics, 116 children with newly diagnosed CD were randomised to one of two groups: one group was given a standard GFD (GFD-std) and one group was given a GFD with additional wheat free oat products (GFD-oats). The study period was one year. Small bowel biopsy was performed at the beginning and end of the study. Serum IgA antigliadin, antiendomysium, and antitissue transglutaminase antibodies were monitored at 0, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results: Ninety three patients completed the study. Median (range) daily oat intake in the GFD-oats group (n = 42) was 15 (5–40) g at the six month control and 15 (0–43) g at the end of the study. All patients were in clinical remission after the study period. The GFD-oats and GFD-std groups did not differ significantly at the end of the study regarding coeliac serology markers or small bowel mucosal architecture, including numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes. Significantly more children in the youngest age group withdrew.

Conclusions: This is the first randomised double blind study showing that the addition of moderate amounts of oats to a GFD does not prevent clinical or small bowel mucosal healing, or humoral immunological downregulation in coeliac children. This is in accordance with the findings of studies in adult coeliacs and indicates that oats, added to the otherwise GFD, can be accepted and tolerated by the majority of children with CD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 53, no 5, 649-654 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22329DOI: 10.1136/gut.2003.026948Local ID: 1529OAI: diva2:242642
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2012-10-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Childhood coeliac disease: clinical aspects of heredity, diagnosis and dietary therapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childhood coeliac disease: clinical aspects of heredity, diagnosis and dietary therapy
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Childhood coeliac disease (CD) is defined as a lifelong disorder, in which the small bowel mucosa is abnormal as a result of exposure to gluten in the diet. The mucosal damage improves on treatment with a gluten-free diet, but recurs within two years of reintroduction of gluten. If there is no mucosal relapse within two years of gluten challenge the condition is called transient gluten intolerance. We describe a case of CD, in whom small bowel biopsy performed yearly demonstrated that mucosal relapse took 14 years of gluten challenge. This is an exceptionally long time questioning the existence of the condition transient gluten intolerance.

Small bowel biopsy is the golden standard in diagnosing CD but an uncomfortable investigation in a child. An effective sedation of the child is necessary. In a randomised study of intranasal versus intravenous midazolam as sedation of children undergoing small bowel biopsy we showed that both administration routes are effective and safe. Intranasal midazolam produced nasal discomfort. Thus, the intravenous route of administration is to be preferred.

In a previous study at our clinic 20-25 years ago all first-degree relatives (n=100) of 32 index patients with CD were investigated with small bowel biopsy. Two cases of CD were found. In the present reinvestigation of the relatives (n=120) using serological screening, 8 new cases of CD were found. The overall prevalence of CD in the first-degree relatives is 8.3%. Six of the new cases were children of the index patients. The remaining 2 newly diagnosed cases had had some enteropathy, not classified as CD, in the previous study. This is the first study of first-degree relatives of coeliacs followed for as long as 20-25 years. The study shows that there is a strong genetic component in the aetiopathogenesis of CD.

The compliance to gluten-free diet, among 29 adult coeliacs, who had been diagnosed in childhood (one group before and one group after 4 years of age) was assessed by dietmy questionnaire and serological markers. The compliance was 80% in the patients diagnosed before 4 years and 36% in those diagnosed later in childhood. This significant difference indicates that a diagnosis in early childhood makes it easier for a coeliac patient to keep to a strict gluten-free diet. This is a clinically important observation.

In a double-blind randomised multi-centre study of oats in the gluten-free diet during a study period of one year, children with CD were carefully monitored using small bowel biopsy and serological markers. The results indicate that oats are tolerated by coeliac children. This is important, since additional oats improve the palatability and fibre content of the fairly low-fibre standard glutenfree diet. This makes it easier for a patient with CD to adhere to the gluten-free diet, which is very important in order to minimise the risk for potential complications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 77 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 787
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26656 (URN)11221 (Local ID)91-7373-546-9 (ISBN)11221 (Archive number)11221 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-05-08, Sal K1, Kåkenhus, Bredgatan 33, Norrköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-10-09Bibliographically approved

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