Case Report
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World J Gastroenterol. Nov 28, 2010; 16(44): 5647-5650
Published online Nov 28, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i44.5647
Erythrocytic transglutaminase inhibition hemolysis at presentation of celiac disease
Petar Ivanovski, Dimitrije Nikolić, Nikola Dimitrijević, Ivan Ivanovski, Vojislav Perišić
Petar Ivanovski, Dimitrije Nikolić, Nikola Dimitrijević, Vojislav Perišić, Pediatric Clinic of the University Children’s Hospital, Medical Faculty University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Ivan Ivanovski, Department of Medical Student Research, Medical Faculty University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Author contributions: Ivanovski P, Nikolić D, Dimitrijević N, Ivanovski I and Perišić V contributed equally to this work, critically reviewed the case, and significantly aided in formulating the main idea and approach to diagnosis and treatment of this patient with an unusual, rare presentation of disease.
Correspondence to: Petar Ivanovski, MD, PhD, Pediatric Clinic of the University Children’s Hospital, Medical Faculty University of Belgrade, 10 Tiršova Street, Belgrade 11000, Serbia.
Telephone: +381-11-2060666 Fax: +381-11-2684672
Received: June 1, 2010
Revised: July 27, 2010
Accepted: August 4, 2010
Published online: November 28, 2010

Celiac disease (CD) is a common autoimmune condition. Previously it was considered to be a rare childhood disorder, but is actually considered a relatively common condition, present at any age, which may have multiple complications and manifestations. Hematological disorders of the disease are not uncommon. Among these disorders, the most frequently reported are anemias as a result of iron deficiency, often associated with folate and/or B12 deficiency. Anemias caused by hemolysis are very rarely reported in celiac patients. An 11-year-old girl with a previous uneventful medical history presented with severe hemolytic anemia. Hemolysis was Coombs negative, accompanied by inappropriate low reticulocyte count, despite exaggerated bone marrow hyperplasia of the erythroid precursors which showed normal maturation. Serology for recent infections, including Epstein-Barr virus, parvovirus B19, cytomegalovirus and mycoplasma, were all negative. Levels of serum IgA, IgG and IgM, were all within normal ranges for age. Screening for anti-DNA, antinuclear, antineutrophil cytoplasmic, antimicrosomal, antithyroglobulin, and antimitochondrial antibodies and lupus anticoagulants, was negative. She was also negative for human immunodeficiency virus. Conventional therapy with corticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulin failed. CD was serendipitously discovered upon screening for anti-tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies. The disease was confirmed by biopsy of the small intestine mucosa. The patient recovered with gluten-free diet. A unique case of CD is presented. CD should be serologically screened in each patient with Coombs negative “immune” hemolytic anemia, particularly if accompanied by “reticulocytopenia”. A new hemolytic mechanism and very speculative explanation for “reticulocytopenia” are discussed.

Keywords: Celiac disease, Tissue transglutaminase, Antibodies, Hemolytic anemia, Gluten free diet