Macroamylasemia Attributable to Gluten-Related Amylase Autoantibodies: A Case Report

Macroamylasemia Attributable to Gluten-Related Amylase Autoantibodies: A Case Report

Graziano Barera

Background. Macroamylasemia (MA) is a benign condition caused by circulating macroamylase complexes of pancreatic or salivary amylase bound to plasma proteins, which cannot be cleared by the renal glomeruli. In most cases, the macromolecular amylase represents a complex of normal amylase and either immunoglobulin A or G and may be a specific antigen-antibody complex. Celiac disease (CD) is a permanent intolerance to ingested gluten that results in immunologically mediated inflammatory damage of the small intestinal mucosa. Several recent population-based serologic surveys have shown CD to be a common disorder, possibly affecting 1 in 200 to 250 individuals in most countries studied, including the United States, where overt CD is rare, indicating a high proportion of subclinical disease. The diagnosis of CD currently rests on the histological demonstration of the characteristic lesion in the small intestine and the subsequent clinical response to the introduction of a gluten-free diet. MA associated with CD has been described in adult patients, and in a few cases, MA decreased or resolved after a strict gluten-free diet. A few single cases of MA have been described in childhood, but no association with CD has been reported so far. We report a girl with CD, autoimmune thyroiditis, and MA, in whom CD-related antibodies to amylase and to exocrine pancreas tissue resolved with a gluten-free diet.

COPYRIGHT 2001 American Academy of Pediatrics

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group