Anemia in Non-celiac Wheat Sensitivity

Study Purpose

In recent years, a new gluten- or wheat-related disease has emerged, a condition labelled "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" (NCGS) or "non-celiac wheat sensitivity" (NCWS). This is very often a self-reported condition, since patients refer to intestinal [mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like] and/or extra-intestinal symptoms (i.e. fatigue, headache, anemia) caused by gluten or wheat ingestion, even though they do not suffer from celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy (WA). Among the extra-intestinal symptoms, several studies have shown, in patients with NCWS, the presence of anemia, generally mild, often with iron or folate deficiency characteristics, but no research has ever been planned with the specific intention of analyze this particular aspect of the disease. Therefore, the aim of the present multicentric research was to analyze, both retrospectively and prospectively, the laboratory data of NCWS patients, compared to CD and IBS controls, to identify: a) the presence, severity and morphologic characteristic of anemia; 2) possible pathogenic mechanisms.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Unknown
Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.


An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.


Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Observational
Eligible Ages 18 Years - 65 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. To diagnose NCWS the recently proposed criteria will be adopted. All the patients will meet the following criteria:
  • - negative serum anti-transglutaminase (anti-tTG) and anti-endomysium (EmA) immunoglobulin (Ig)A and IgG antibodies, absence of intestinal villous atrophy, negative IgE-mediated immune-allergy tests to wheat (skin prick tests and/or serum specific IgE detection), resolution of the IBS symptoms on standard elimination diet, excluding wheat, cow's milk, egg, tomato, chocolate, and other self-reported food(s) causing symptoms, symptom reappearance on double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) wheat challenge.
As the investigators previously described in other studies, DBPC cow's milk protein challenge and other "open" food challenges will be performed too. 2. To diagnose CD the standard criteria will be adopted. All the patients will meet the following criteria:
  • - positive serum anti-transglutaminase (anti-tTG) and anti-endomysium (EmA) immunoglobulin (Ig)A and IgG antibodies presence of intestinal villous atrophy.
3. To diagnose IBS the standard Rome II (for retrospective patients) and Rome III (for prospective patients) Criteria will be adopted. None of these subjects improved on an elimination diet without wheat, cow's milk, egg, tomato, or chocolate.

Exclusion Criteria:

For NCWS diagnosis it will be evaluated the following

exclusion criteria:

  • - positive EmA in the culture medium of the duodenal biopsies, also in the case of normal villi/crypts ratio in the duodenal mucosa, self-exclusion of wheat from the diet and refusal to reintroduce it before entering the study, other previously diagnosed gastrointestinal disorders, other previously diagnosed gynaecological disorders, nervous system disease and/or major psychiatric disorder, physical impairment limiting physical activity.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.

NCT04377061
Phase

Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University of Palermo
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Pasquale Mansueto, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation University of Palermo
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Other
Overall Status Recruiting
Countries Italy
Conditions

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Anemia
Additional Details

In recent years, a new gluten- or wheat-related disease has emerged, a condition labelled "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" (NCGS) or "non-celiac wheat sensitivity" (NCWS). This is very often a self-reported condition, since patients refer to intestinal [mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like] and/or extra-intestinal symptoms (i.e. fatigue, headache, anemia) caused by gluten or wheat ingestion, even though they do not suffer from celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy (WA). There are conflicting data about the real mechanisms which induce symptoms in NCGS/NCWS patients after wheat ingestion. Some authors suggested a prevalent role for Fermentable Oligosaccharides-Disaccharides-Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs), rather than gluten in determining the symptoms. Other studies underlined the activation of mechanisms of both innate and acquired immunity in NCWS patients after wheat ingestion. Given the lack of a diagnostic biomarker, NCGS/NCWS mostly remains a diagnosis of exclusion, especially respect to CD and WA, so a confirmatory test is required. The "Salerno criteria" suggested the double-blind, placebo-controlled (DBPC), cross-over, gluten/wheat challenge as the gold standard test to discriminate true NCGS/NCWS patients. By definition, NCGS/NCWS symptoms generally occur after the ingestion of gluten/wheat, disappear within a few days of a gluten-free diet (GFD) and quickly reappear when gluten/wheat is, voluntarily or accidentally, reintroduced. However, GDF is very difficult and onerous from a social (presence of gluten in many industrial food products and "contamination", both domestic and extra-domestic), psychological (e.g. for adolescents, exclusion from the "peer group", with difficulty in accepting the diagnosis) and economic point of view. Among the extra-intestinal symptoms, several studies have shown, in patients with NCWS, the presence of anemia, generally mild, often with iron or folate deficiency characteristics, but no research has ever been planned with the specific intention of analyze this particular aspect of the disease. Therefore, the aim of the present multicentric research was to analyze, both retrospectively and prospectively, the laboratory data of NCWS patients, compared to CD and IBS controls, to identify: a) the presence, severity and morphologic characteristic of anemia; 2) possible pathogenic mechanisms, with particular attention to iron, vitamin B12 and folate metabolism, thyroid hormones, and autoimmune gastric involvement.

Arms & Interventions

Arms

: NCWS retrospective and prospective patients

The clinical charts of NCWS patients, diagnosed by DBPC gluten/wheat challenge, between January 2001 and December 2019, attending the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Palermo, the Department of Internal Medicine of the Hospital of Sciacca, and the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the University of Bologna, will be reviewed retrospectively. The investigators prospectively will also survey patients with functional gastroenterological symptoms according to the Rome III criteria, and a definitive diagnosis of NCWS by DBPC gluten/wheat challenge. The patients will be recruited between January 2019 and January 2022 at the same centers, and at the Internal Medicine Division of the "Cervello-Villa Sofia" Hospital of Palermo, Palermo.

: CD retrospective and prospective control patients

To compare the presence and characteristics of anemia in NCWS patients, the clinical charts of a control group of CD patients had been randomly chosen by a computer-generated method from patients diagnosed in the same centers, during the same period (2001-2019), and age- and sex-matched with the NCWS patients. The investigators prospectively will also survey a control group of CD patients randomly chosen by a computer-generated method from subjects diagnosed in the same centers, during the same period (2019-2022), and age- and sex-matched with the NCWS patients.

: IBS retrospective and prospective control patients

To compare the presence and characteristics of anemia in NCWS patients, the clinical charts of another control group of IBS patients had been randomly chosen by a computer-generated method from patients diagnosed in the same centers, during the same period (2001-2019), and age- and sex-matched with the NCWS patients. The investigators prospectively will also survey a control group of IBS patients randomly chosen by a computer-generated method from subjects diagnosed in the same centers, during the same period (2019-2022), and age- and sex-matched with the NCWS patients.

Interventions

Diagnostic Test: - Evaluation of anemia

Evaluation of anemia in NCWS patients, and in CD and IBS controls, with both retrospective and prospective method.

Contact a Trial Team

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International Sites

Sciacca, Agrigento, Italy

Status

Completed

Address

Department of Internal Medicine, Giovanni Paolo II Hospital of Sciacca

Sciacca, Agrigento, 92019

Palermo, PA, Italy

Status

Recruiting

Address

Internal Medicine Division of the "Cervello-Villa Sofia" Hospital

Palermo, PA, 90129

Site Contact

Antonio Carroccio, PHD

acarroccio@hotmail.com

+390916552884

Palermo, Italy

Status

Recruiting

Address

Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Palermo

Palermo, , 90129

Site Contact

Pasquale Mansueto, MD

pasquale.mansueto@unipa.it

+390916552884

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