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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 20 (2006), Issue 4, Pages 291-293
Brief Communication

Chronic Urticaria: A Cutaneous Manifestation of Celiac Disease

Jessica Haussmann1 and Arni Sekar2

1Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Received 4 May 2005; Accepted 21 September 2005

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.


Celiac disease, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an immune-mediated disease of the small bowel that results in malabsorption. It classically presents with gastrointestinal symptoms including chronic diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal bloating and anorexia. It is becoming more frequently identified in asymptomatic patients with a diagnosis of deficiencies related to malabsorption of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. It is increasingly identified as a cause for early or refractory osteoporosis. Occasionally, celiac disease presents with cutaneous manifestations alone. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a well-recognized cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease. Other cutaneous manifestations include alopecia, angular stomatitis and aphthous ulcerations. Described here is a case of a 24-year-old woman who presented with intermittent urticaria and gastrointestinal complaints. She was found to have celiac disease on small-bowel biopsy. Both her gastrointestinal symptoms and urticaria resolved when she was put on a gluten-free diet, suggesting that her urticaria was a cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease.