Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental conditions whose etiopathogenesis derives from a complex interaction between genetic liability and environmental factors. In this framework, mounting evidence suggests that immune system dysfunction could be a risk factor contributing to the development of ASD in at least a subpopulation of individuals. In particular, some studies suggest an association between celiac disease (CD)—a long‐term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the small intestine triggered by the ingestion of gluten—and ASD, while others hypothesized a random link. This investigation aimed to evaluate the prevalence of CD in a large sample of school‐aged children with ASD and to characterize their clinical profile. Methods: Medical records of 405 children with ASD aged 5–11 years (mean age: 7.2 years; SD: 1.8 years) consecutively referred to a tertiary‐care university hospital between January 2014 and December 2018 were reviewed; among them, 362 had carried out serological testing for CD. Results: Nine patients with positive CD serology were identified, eight of which satisfied the criteria for CD diagnosis. The estimated CD prevalence in ASD children was 2.18% (95% CI, 0.8–3.7), which was not statistically different (1.58%; p = 0.36) from that of an Italian population, matched for age range, considered as a control group (95% CI, 1.26–1.90). Three out of the eight ASD patients with CD did not have any symptoms suggestive of CD. Conclusions: Our findings did not show a higher prevalence of CD in ASD children than in the control population, but could suggest the utility of routine CD screening, given its frequent atypical clinical presentation in this population.

Prevalence and clinical features of celiac disease in a cohort of italian children with autism spectrum disorders

Muratori F.;Calderoni S.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental conditions whose etiopathogenesis derives from a complex interaction between genetic liability and environmental factors. In this framework, mounting evidence suggests that immune system dysfunction could be a risk factor contributing to the development of ASD in at least a subpopulation of individuals. In particular, some studies suggest an association between celiac disease (CD)—a long‐term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the small intestine triggered by the ingestion of gluten—and ASD, while others hypothesized a random link. This investigation aimed to evaluate the prevalence of CD in a large sample of school‐aged children with ASD and to characterize their clinical profile. Methods: Medical records of 405 children with ASD aged 5–11 years (mean age: 7.2 years; SD: 1.8 years) consecutively referred to a tertiary‐care university hospital between January 2014 and December 2018 were reviewed; among them, 362 had carried out serological testing for CD. Results: Nine patients with positive CD serology were identified, eight of which satisfied the criteria for CD diagnosis. The estimated CD prevalence in ASD children was 2.18% (95% CI, 0.8–3.7), which was not statistically different (1.58%; p = 0.36) from that of an Italian population, matched for age range, considered as a control group (95% CI, 1.26–1.90). Three out of the eight ASD patients with CD did not have any symptoms suggestive of CD. Conclusions: Our findings did not show a higher prevalence of CD in ASD children than in the control population, but could suggest the utility of routine CD screening, given its frequent atypical clinical presentation in this population.
2021
Prosperi, M.; Santocchi, E.; Brunori, E.; Cosenza, A.; Tancredi, R.; Muratori, F.; Calderoni, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1128124
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