Aim: This study was designed to determine if there is a relationship between celiac disease (CD) and the presence of gastrointestinal disease (GI) disease in children with autism.
Subjects and Methods: One hundred twenty-two children were tested for IgG and IgA anti-transglutaminase autoantibodies (55 autistic children with GI disease, 28 non autistic children with no GI disease, 30 autistic children with no GI disease, and 9 non autistic children with GI Disease). We also compared the presence/level of these autoantibodies to presence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and level of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT).
Results: We did not find a significant difference in the level of anti-transglutaminase IgG or IgA in autistic children with GI disease compared to controls. However, we found a significant relationship between the presence of ANCA and low-level IgG anti-transglutaminase IgG in children with autism and GI disease.
Discussion: Although there appears to be no relationship between these celiac disease markers and the presence of GI disease in autistic children, these results suggest a possible association between sub diagnostic levels of anti-transglutaminase IgG and the presence of ANCA, and therefore, supports the hypothesis that there is a generalized autoimmune dysfunction in autistic children with GI disease.
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