Back pain and sacroiliitis in long-standing adult celiac disease: A cross-sectional and follow-up study

Edit Vereckei, Ádám Mester, László Hodinka, Péter Temesvári, Emese Kiss, Gyula Poór

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


There have been only scattered reports suggesting that musculoskeletal manifestations including back pain and sacroiliac joint involvement may be associated with celiac disease. In order to confirm this issue in a larger cohort, rheumatic manifestations were analyzed in 21 adult celiac patients using a comprehensive clinical, laboratory and radiological analysis. The diagnosis of celiac disease was based on the histopathology of jejunal biopsy specimens. The mean duration of celiac disease was 15 (0-31) years. All patients were currently on gluten-free diet and none of the patients had gastrointestinal symptoms at the time of the study. Using various imaging techniques, involvement of the sacroiliac joints was confirmed in 70% of celiac patients. Imaging revealed different morphological changes in the sacroiliac joint, e.g. accumulation of synovial fluid, synovitis, erosion with concomitant sclerosis, sacroiliitis or calcification of the ligament. These changes probably represent different clinical stages and/or manifestations of the same process. In a follow-up study of eight patients, after 11 years on a gluten-free diet, the great majority of patients had no clinical symptoms; yet, a sub-clinical progression of the sacroiliac joint involvement could be verified. Our results suggest the importance of regular rheumatologic follow-up of patients with celiac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010



  • Back pain
  • Celiac disease
  • Comprehensive radiological analysis
  • Follow-up study
  • Sacroiliac joint involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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