Adolescents with coeliac disease often fail to adhere to a strict gluten free diet. The effectiveness of intestinal permeability to sugars as a marker of slight dietary transgressions by such adolescents was assessed. Severe dietary transgressions were excluded from the study. Subjects were divided into two groups according to whether they committed slight dietary transgressions or adhered to a strict gluten free diet. A reference group of preadolescents with coeliac disease was also included in the study. Intestinal permeability and antigliadin antibody tests were performed on all patients. The diagnostic marker of intestinal permeability was excellent in the reference group. Neither the intestinal permeability test nor antigliadin antibody tests, however, succeeded in discriminating between the two groups of adolescents considered in this study. In conclusion the intestinal permeability test is not a valid marker for slight dietary transgression in such patients.
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