BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-225143
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Gluten-free diet: a possible treatment for chronic diarrhoea in common variable immunodeficiency

  1. Ana Todo Bom1
  1. 1Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Coimbra’s Universitary Hospital Centre, Coimbra, Portugal
  2. 2Pathology, Coimbra’s Universitary Hospital Centre, Coimbra, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joana Sofia Pita, joana.s.pita{at}
  • Accepted 9 June 2018
  • Published 10 July 2018


Gastrointestinal disorders are frequent in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Clinical symptoms and histological alterations in CIVD can resemble celiac disease. Usually, patients with chronic diarrhoea associated with CVID do not improve with a gluten-free diet. The authors present a case of a male patient who was diagnosed with CVID at age 33 and had chronic diarrhoea which resolved after initiating a gluten-free diet. Clinical relapse occurred after gluten reintroduction. The main objective of this case report is to alert clinicians to implement a gluten-free diet in patients with CVID with chronic diarrhoea.


  • Contributors I, Joana Sofia Pita declare that every cited author contributed to this case report. This patient was followed and treated by Dr. Joana Sofia Pita (main author) , Dr. Rosa Anita Fernandes, and Dr. Emilia Faria, who followed this patient and worked on data collection, conception and design, acquisition of data, article drafting and writing. Our colleague from pathology, Rui Almeida, worked on microscopy and histology, contributing for a correct histological diagnosis. Dr. Carlos Loureiro and Professor Ana Todo Bom were essential for this manuscript drafting, final revision and approval.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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