BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS:
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is characterized by autoimmune aetiology. A gene locus 4q27 related to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and coeliac disease is associated with susceptibility to JIA. There are reports indicating several patients with JIA had been diagnosed with CD. We aimed to assess the frequency of coeliac disease (CD) in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
This prospective study was carried out from October 2015 to August 2016 and included 96 patients with JIA. All patients were evaluated in terms of clinical and laboratory findings of CD. Levels of total IgA and tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG) IgA were measured in all patients. Those with increased level of tTG IgA were further tested for anti-endomysium IgA antibodies (EMA). Gastroduodenoscopy were planned for a definite diagnosis of CD in patients with positive EMA.
Of the 96 patients in our study, 34 (35.4%) had oligoarticular form of JIA, 29 (30.2%) had polyarticular form, 12 (12.5%) had ERA form, 11 (11.5%) had systemic form, and 10 (10.4%) had psoriatic form. Sixteen of our patients (16.6%) were not using any drugs during the study. Neither EMA IgA antibodies were analysed nor gastro-duodenoscopy was performed because no patients were positive for tTG IgA. There was no difference in terms of tTG levels between the patients using NSAIDs or other drugs.
We did not find CD in children with JIA. Long term studies with more JIA patients are needed to provide more precise interpretation.