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Keywords:

  • coeliac disease;
  • chronic hepatitis;
  • cirrhosis of liver;
  • villous atrophy;
  • malabsorption

The pathology of the liver in 19 cases of malabsorption in reported. Five of these were proven to have adult coeliac disease, in the others that diagnosis was presumed by exclusion of other causes of malabsorption and by the coincidence of other conditions known to be associated with coeliac disease. Of these cases, three had liver changes of chronic hepatitis and two of these were in the proven coeliac group, including a case with cirrhosis and a hepatoma. In addition, less severe liver changes such as portal tract fibrosis and portal tract infiltration by inflammatory cells were present greatly in excess to that of the controls. The reasons for the occurrence of liver damage in coeliac disease are outlined and discussed in relation to the liver disorders associated with jejunoileal bypass used in the treatment of obesity. Possible mechanisms of liver injury in coeliac disease are described.