Case Reports in Gastroenterology (2019-08-01)

Recurrent Fever and Failure to Thrive in an 11-Year-Old Boy

  • Felix Stickel,
  • Martin Wartenberg,
  • Hanifa Bouzourene,
  • Maria Anna Ortner,
  • Gerhard Rogler

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 2
pp. 350 – 356


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Recurrent fever is frequent among children and mostly associated with viral infections inoculated via social contacts with others of the same age. Rarely, severe conditions such as hematological malignancies, pediatric rheumatoid diseases, chronic infections, or inherited recurrent fever syndromes are causative. Herein, we present the case of an 11-year-old boy with frequently recurring high-fever episodes since early childhood, failure to thrive, and iron deficiency who was found to have classical celiac disease (CD) with highly elevated tissue transglutaminase and anti-gliadin antibodies and marked duodenal villous atrophy. Upon implementation of a gluten-free diet, the boy ceased to have fevers, antibodies decreased markedly, his iron status improved, and he significantly gained weight. Although infrequent, recurrent fever should be included into the polymorphic clinical picture of CD, and the threshold of testing for diagnostic antibodies should be low in such patients.