Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), also referred to as non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS), is a clinical syndrome characterized by both intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms responsive to the withdrawal of gluten-containing food from the diet. The aim of this review is to summarize recent advances in research and provide a brief overview of the history of the condition for the benefit of professionals working in gastroenterology. Academic databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar were searched using key words such as ”non-celiac gluten sensitivity”, “gluten related disorders”, and the studies outlined in reference page were selected and analysed.
Most of the analysed studiers agree that NCGS would need to be diagnosed only after exclusion of celiac disease and wheat allergy, and that a reliable serological marker is not available presently. The mechanisms causing symptoms in NCGS after gluten ingestion are largely unknown, but recent advances have begun to offer novel insights. The estimated prevalence of NCGS, at present, varies between 0.6 and 6%. There is an overlap between irritable bowel syndrome and NCGS with regard to the similarity of gastrointestinal symptoms. The histologic characteristics of NCGS are still under investigation, ranging from normal histology to slight increase in the number of T lymphocytes in the superficial epithelium of villi. Positive response to gluten free diet for a limited period (e.g., 6 weeks), followed by the reappearance of symptoms after gluten challenge appears, at this moment, to be the best approach for confirming diagnosis. The Salerno expert criteria may help to diagnose NCGS accurately in particular for research purposes but it has limited applicability in clinical practice.
Keywords: Celiac disease, Non celiac gluten sensitivity, Wheat allergy.
(Please cite as: Casella G, Villanacci V, Di Bella C, Bassotti G, Bold J, Rostami K. Non celiac gluten sensitivity and diagnostic challenges. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench 2018;11(3):197-202).