Gluten sensitive enteropathy has various manifestations, of which the two major forms are classical coeliac disease (cCD) and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). In cCD predominantly the small intestine is affected, whereas in DH also the skin is affected showing typical rash and IgA deposits. The symptoms in both forms are dependent on gluten intake. The factors diversifying these two clinical outcomes are unknown. In the present report we evaluated the role of the major genetic susceptibility locus, HLA DQ, in 25 families, in which both forms of the disease, cCD and DH, occurred in siblings. By using the family-based approach it can be assumed that within each family variation in environmental factors is substantially lower than in the standard case-control setting, and also the problems related to population stratification can be avoided. Results from the Finnish family material with 25 discordant and 85 concordant sib pairs, and from additional case-control material comprising 71 unrelated Hungarian DH and 68 cCD patients, together indicated that the HLA DQ locus did not differ between the two major outcomes of gluten sensitive enteropathy. The non-HLA DR;DQ factors are critical for the different clinical manifestations of gluten sensitivity.