BACKGROUND: Ulceration of the small intestine in children has not been previously described. PATIENTS: Two children, aged 12 and 18 months, presented with a history of failure to thrive and intractable diarrhoea. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy showed multiple ulcers involving the first and second parts of the duodenum. Histology of biopsy specimens taken from these sites confirmed ulceration and showed other features consistent with a diagnosis of coeliac disease. They both showed pronounced clinical improvement and satisfactory linear growth on a gluten free diet. A year later the diagnosis of coeliac disease was confirmed on a biopsy controlled gluten challenge, and repeat endoscopy showed complete resolution of the intestinal ulceration.
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