Treatment of patients with coeliac disease with a low gluten containing diet (LGD) remains controversial. We have studied jejunal morphology and antigluten (AG) antibody titres by ELISA in patients on a LGD of 2.5-5 g/day for three to 14 months (median six months) and compared results with patients on a strict gluten free diet (GFD) for six to 27 months (median 13 months). We found no significant difference in villous height or crypt depth (eight LGD v 10 GFD patients) or serum AG-IgA, -IgG, and IgM titres (13 LGD v 12 GFD patients). there was however, a significant increase (p less than 0.05) in intra-epithelial lymphocytes in those patients on a LGD. We conclude that adult coeliac patients can tolerate a LGD without gross morphological change and without initiating significant AG antibody responses.
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