Reintroduction of gluten in adults and children with treated coeliac disease.
Twenty-eight patients, thought to have coeliac disease and on gluten free diets, were put on a normal diet to confirm their diagnoses. Nineteen had been diagnosed in adult life (ACD) and nine in childhood (CCD). Patients were assessed on jejunal, morphological, and symptomatic parameters. Eighteen patients with ACD relapsed within seven weeks. Nine patients with CCD relapsed at variable times but five took longer than seven weeks, the longest period beint 10 months. Seven patients had no symptoms despite morphological deterioration during challenge and one patient, with ACD, did not relapse and was HLA B8 negative. This patient with ACD had subtotal villous atrophy on two jejunal biopsies and later showed morphological improvement on a gluten free diet. There was no correlation between the relapse time and time spent on a gluten free diet.