NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – There is some evidence that pediatric patients with migraine are at increased risk of celiac disease, Turkish researchers report in the September issue of Cephalalgia.

Dr. Fusan Alehan and colleagues at Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, and colleagues note that although migraine has been reported to be associated with classic gluten enteropathy, it has not been studied extensively in asymptomatic celiac disease.

As they point out, most patients with celiac disease are asymptomatic or present with extraintestinal manifestations.

To investigate further, the researchers studied 73 patients aged 6 to 17 years who had migraine and 147 controls.

Four of the migraine patients (5.5%) and one of the controls (0.6%) were positive for serum tissue transglutaminase IgA (tTGA) antibodies, considered “a reliable indicator of the presence of celiac disease.”

Three of these migraine patients underwent duodenal biopsy and were found to have normal histology. Because of this, the researchers classified them as having “potential celiac disease.” The other two tTGA-positive participants declined biopsy.

“Our finding of a higher prevalence of tTGA antibodies in migraine patients suggests that an association between migraine and celiac disease might exist in the paediatric age group,” the investigators conclude, “and that further studies should be performed.”

Cephalagia 2008;28:945-949.