The clinical phenotype of celiac disease varies considerably among patients and the dosage of HLA-DQ2.5 alleles has been suggested to be a contributing factor. We investigated whether HLA-DQ2.5 allele dosage is associated with distinct clinical parameters at the time of diagnosis and with patients' response to a gluten-free diet. The final cohort included 605 carefully phenotyped non-related Finnish celiac disease patients grouped as having 0, 1 or 2 copies of HLA-DQ2.5. Clinical data at the time of diagnosis and during gluten-free diet were collected systematically from medical records and supplementary interviews. An increasing HLA-DQ2.5 dose effect was detected for celiac disease antibody positivity at diagnosis (p = 0.021) and for the presence of any first-degree relatives with celiac disease (p = 0.011 and p = 0.031, respectively). Instead, DQ2.5-negative patients were suffering most often from classical symptoms at diagnosis (p = 0.007 between HLA groups). In addition, during follow-up they were most often symptomatic despite a gluten-free diet (p = 0.002 between groups). Our results thus suggest that increasing HLA-DQ2.5 dose only has a minor effect on the clinical picture of celiac disease. However, HLA-DQ2.5-negative patients should not be overlooked in clinical practice and particular attention should be paid to this patient group during gluten-free diet.
- Jufo-taso 1