Celiac disease has been associated with autoimmune myocarditis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Celiac disease associated with autoimmune myocarditis.
Circulation. 2002 Jun 4;105(22):2611-8. PMID: 12045166
Department of Cardiology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy. [email protected]
BACKGROUND: Both celiac disease (CD) and myocarditis can be associated with systemic autoimmune disorders; however, the coexistence of the 2 entities has never been investigated, although its identification may have a clinical impact.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We screened the serum of 187 consecutive patients with myocarditis (118 males and 69 females, mean age 41.7+/-14.3 years) for the presence of cardiac autoantibodies, anti-tissue transglutaminase (IgA-tTG), and anti-endomysial antibodies (AEAs). IgA-tTG-positive and AEA-positive patients underwent duodenal endoscopy and biopsy and HLA analysis. Thirteen of the 187 patients were positive for IgA-tTG, and 9 (4.4%) of them were positive for AEA. These 9 patients had iron-deficient anemia and exhibited duodenal endoscopic and histological evidence of CD. CD was observed in 1 (0.3%) of 306 normal controls (P<0.003). In CD patients, myocarditis was associated with heart failure in 5 patients and with ventricular arrhythmias (Lown class III-IVa) in 4 patients. From histological examination, a lymphocytic infiltrate was determined to be present in 8 patients, and giant cell myocarditis was found in 1 patient; circulating cardiac autoantibodies were positive and myocardial viral genomes were negative in all patients. HLA of the patients with CD and myocarditis was DQ2-DR3 in 8 patients and DQ2-DR5(11)/DR7 in 1 patient. The 5 patients with myocarditis and heart failure received immunosuppression and a gluten-free diet, which elicited recovery of cardiac volumes and function. The 4 patients with arrhythmia, after being put on a gluten-free diet alone, showed improvement in the arrhythmia (Lown class I).
CONCLUSIONS: A common autoimmune process toward antigenic components of the myocardium and small bowel can be found in>4% of the patients with myocarditis. In these patients, immunosuppression and a gluten-free diet can be effective therapeutic options.