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Celiac Disease in Kosovar Albanian Children: Evaluation of Clinical Features and Diagnosis

Author(s):

Atifete Ramosaj-Morina*, Alije Keka-Sylaj, Arbana Baloku Zejnullahu, Lidvana Spahiu, Virgjina Hasbahta, Vlora Jaha, Vjosa Kotori, Besnik Bicaj, Fisnik Kurshumliu, Valbona Zhjeqi, Marija Kamenaric-Burek and Renata Zunec   Pages 1 - 7 ( 7 )

Abstract:


Background: Celiac disease is an immune-mediated disorder characterized by a variable clinical manifestations, specific antibodies, HLA-DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes, and enteropathy.

Objectives: Aim of this study was to present clinical spectrum and patterns of celiac disease in Kosovar Albanian children.

Methods: A cross-sectional retrospective study was performed with Albanian children aged 0-18 years, treated for celiac disease in the Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo from 2005 to 2016.

Results: During the study period, 63 children were treated for celiac disease. The mean age at diagnosis was 5.5 years (SD ± 3.31). The mean age at celiac disease onset was 3.3 years (SD ± 2.02), while the mean delay from the first symptoms indicative of celiac disease to diagnosis was 2.2 years (SD ± 2.09). More than 70% of the patients were diagnosed in the first 7 years of life, mainly presented with gastrointestinal symptoms, while primary school children and adolescents mostly showed atypical symptoms (p<0.001). The classical form of celiac disease occurred in 78% of the cases. Sixty (95%) patients carried HLA-DQ2.5, DQ2.2 and/or HLA-DQ8 heterodimers, and only three of them tested negative.

Conclusions: Kosovo as the majority of developing countries, is still facing with the classical form of celiac disease as the dominant mode of presentation; as a result, most children with other forms of celiac disease remain undiagnosed.

Physicians should be aware of the wide range of clinical presentation and utilize low testing threshold in order to prevent potential long-term problems associated with untreated celiac disease.

Keywords:

Classical coeliac disease, Children, Developing countries, Screening, Symptoms

Affiliation:

Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Pediatric Clinic, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Clinic of Surgery, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Pristina, Professor, Institute of Pathology, University Clinical Center of Kosova, Pristina, National Institute of Public Health, Pristina, Clinical Units for Tissue Typing, Clinical Department for Transfusion Medicine and Transplantation Biology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Clinical Units for Tissue Typing, Clinical Department for Transfusion Medicine and Transplantation Biology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb



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