Autoimmune enteropathy (AIE) is a rare cause of small bowel villous atrophy, characterized by malabsorption, unresponsiveness to dietary restriction, circulating autoantibodies to enterocytes, and an overall predisposition to autoimmunity. Albeit mainly regarded as a disease of early childhood, several adult-onset AIE cases have been identified. This report describes for the first time the life-threatening clinical presentation and the management of overlapping AIE in a compliant-to-diet young celiac girl. A 13-year-old celiac girl was admitted because of vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, hypoproteinemia, and neurological disturbances such as head tremors, vertical nystagmus, and lower limb hyperesthesia. Before this, she had always been compliant on a strict gluten-free diet and her medical history was unremarkable. The diagnosis of AIE was established on histologic findings and on the presence of antienterocyte antibodies. She was initially treated with high-dose Methylprednisolone and Azathioprine. However, only Infliximab proved itself as a highly effective tool for achieving clinical remission and restoring small bowel villous architecture.
Autoimmune Enteropathy in a 13-Year-Old Celiac Girl Successfully Treated With Infliximab / Valitutti, Francesco; Barbato, Maria; Aloi, Marina; Marcheggiano, Adriana; DI NARDO, Giovanni; Stefania, Leoni; Iorfida, Donatella; Gino R., Corazza; Cucchiara, Salvatore. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY. - ISSN 0192-0790. - STAMPA. - 48:3(2014), pp. 264-266. [10.1097/mcg.0b013e31829e460e]