Patients with the ‘classical’ gastrointestinal symptoms of coeliac disease (CD) are usually readily diagnosed and treated with a gluten exclusion diet. However, the advent of sensitive serological investigations has revealed that over half of childhood CD remains asymptomatic or presents with more subtle non-gastrointestinal symptoms, with a significant risk to the health of undiagnosed children. In view of its changing presentation there is an increasing need for clinicians to have a low threshold to investigate patients for this disease. Rare cases of CD associated with respiratory symptoms have been reported. The authors report an interesting case presenting as chronic cough in an otherwise asymptomatic 8-year-old girl. As a result of having a low threshold of suspicion for underlying CD, a diagnosis has been made and the long-term health risks of undiagnosed disease have been improved in both the patient and her immediate family.
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Competing interests None.
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