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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 20, Issue 6, Pages 433-435
Brief Communication

Dermatomyositis Associated with Celiac Disease: Response to a Gluten-Free Diet

Min Soo Song,1 David Farber,2 Alain Bitton,3 Jeremy Jass,4 Michael Singer,5 and George Karpati6

1Department of Internal Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada
2Department of Gastroenterology, L’Hôpital Cité-de-la-Santé, Laval, Canada
3Department of Gastroenterology, McGill University Health Centre, Canada
4Department of Pathology, McGill University Health Centre, Canada
5Department of Dermatology, Sir Mortimer B Davis Jewish General Hospital, Canada
6Department of Neurology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Received 15 December 2005; Accepted 4 January 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The association between dermatomyositis and celiac disease in children has been well documented. In the adult population, however, the association has not been clearly established. A rare case of concomitant dermatomyositis and celiac disease in a 40-year-old woman is presented. After having been diagnosed with dermatomyositis and iron deficiency anemia, this patient was referred to the gastroenterology clinic to exclude a gastrointestinal malignancy. Blood tests revealed various vitamin deficiencies consistent with malabsorption. The results of gastroscopy with duodenal biopsy were consistent with celiac disease. After she was put on a strict gluten-free diet, both nutritional deficiencies and the dermatomyositis resolved. The patient’s human leukocyte antigen haplotype study was positive for DR3 and DQ2, which have been shown to be associated with both juvenile dermatomyositis and celiac disease. It is suggested that patients with newly diagnosed dermatomyositis be investigated for concomitant celiac disease even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms.