Background: Patients with celiac disease present with not only gastrointestinal symptoms but also extraintestinal manifestations such as anemia, osteopathy, dermatitis herpetiformis, and celiac neuropathy. Despite a fairly wide range of celiac neuropathies, we report a case of the acrodystrophic variant of celiac polyneuropathy, which has not been previously described.
Case presentation: A 41-year-old Ukrainian male suffered from symmetric, sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy and encephalopathy associated with celiac disease, which is characterized by severe trophic disorders in the lower extremities (trophic ulcers, hyperkeratosis, and anhidrosis). Acrodystrophic changes in the lower extremities were due to both neurogenic and direct immunoinflammatory damaging effects. Clinical–electrophysiological dissociation was also noted, which was represented by a gross axonal lesion with the preservation of muscle strength. The absence of enteropathic manifestations was accompanied by the pronounced histological changes in the duodenal mucosa by IIIb stage of Marsh. A gluten-free diet in combination with membrane plasma exchange and intravenous pulse methylprednisolone was prescribed to reduce the severity of sensory disorders and regression of encephalopathy within 7 months.
Conclusion: Celiac disease may be a potential cause of neuropathy and encephalopathy in adult patients. Further immunosuppressive treatment protocols for both intestinal and extraintestinal manifestations of celiac disease are required.
Bardakov SN, Tran MD, Lapin SV, Moshnikova AN, Kalinina EU, Bogdanova EG, Bolekhan AV, Gavriluk BL. Acrodystrophic axonal polyneuropathy with celiac disease: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2021 Dec 18;15(1):615. doi: 10.1186/s13256-021-03171-z