Objective: he prevalence of celiac disease (CD) varies between 1% and 10% in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). This study aimed to determine the frequency of spontaneous recovery of celiac serology and the biopsy-proven CD (BPCD) frequency in patients with T1DM.
Methods: The data of 668 patients with available celiac serology tests from a total of 779 patients who were followed for the last 10 years with the diagnosis of T1DM were retrospectively evaluated.
Results: Positive serology was detected in 103 out of 668 (15.4%) patients. There was spontaneous normalization in 24 (23.3%), fluctuation in 11 (10.7%) and permanently positive serology in 68 (66%). In 46 out of 53 (86.8%) patients with positive serology and biopsy, CD diagnosis was confirmed by biopsy (BPCD). The frequency of BPCD was 6.9%, and the serology in 76.1% was positive at the time of diagnosis of T1DM. The weight, height and body mass index-standard deviation score at diagnosis were lower in patients with BPCD compared to the group without CD. An anti-tissue transglutaminase-IgA (anti-TTG-IgA) level of 11.8 times the upper limit of normal was the most sensitive (93%) and specific (90%) cut-off for BPCD (area under the curve: 0.95; 95% confidence interval: 0.912-1; p<0.001).
Conclusion: In our cohort, the frequency of positive serology for CD was 15.4%, while the rate of BPCD was 6.9%. The majority (97.8%) of cases were diagnosed within the first five years of T1DM. In 23.3% of cases, positive anti-TTG-IgA spontaneously resolved without a gluten-free diet (GFD). Therefore, serological follow-up instead of immediate duodenal biopsy or GFD therapy, particularly for patients with asymptomatic and mild anti-TTG IgA level, is warranted.