Celiac disease: Updates on pathology and differential diagnosis

Yinghuan Dai, Qin Zhang, Andrea M. Olofson, Nirag Jhala, Xiuli Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Celiac disease is a gluten-triggered immune-mediated disorder, characterized by inflammation of the enteric mucosa following lymphocytic infiltration and eventually resulting in villous blunting. There have been many developments in refining diagnostic laboratory tests for celiac disease in the last decade. Biopsy-sparing diagnostic guidelines have been proposed and validated in a few recent prospective studies. However, despite these developments, histologic evaluation of duodenal mucosa remains one of the most essential diagnostic tools as it helps in the diagnosis of celiac disease in individuals who do not fulfill the biopsy-sparing diagnostic criteria and in those not responding to a gluten-free diet. Histologic evaluation also allows for the assessment of mucosal recovery after treatment and in the identification of concurrent intestinal diseases. Therefore, pathologists should be familiar with the histologic spectrum of celiac disease and need to be aware of other disorders with similar symptoms and histopathology that may mimic celiac disease. This review aims to provide pathologists with updates on celiac laboratory testing, biopsy-sparing diagnostic criteria, histopathology, complications, and differential diagnoses of celiac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-312
Number of pages21
JournalAdvances in Anatomic Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies
  • celiac disease
  • duodenum
  • intraepithelial lymphocytosis
  • refractory celiac disease
  • villous atrophy


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