Slower celiac disease mucosal healing at greater risk for lymphoma

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: A study by American and Swedish physicians looked at the link between biopsy results to confirm intestinal healing in celiac disease patients and the risk of developing certain types of blood cancers.

The authors examined the records of more than 7,600 patients who had a follow-up biopsy and found that almost half had persistent villous atrophy, or flattened villi. This slow-healing group was subsequently found to have a significantly higher risk for lymphoma.

Conclusion: The authors suggest that follow-up biopsy results showing slow mucosal healing should be used to group patients into a higher-risk screening category for certain types of lymphoma, including T- or B-cell lymphoma. Unfortunately, the study did not examine a link between gluten-free diet adherence and slow mucosal healing.


[1] “Mucosal healing and risk for lymphoproliferative malignancy in celiac disease: a population-based cohort study.”, Lebwohl B, Granath F, Ekbom A, Smedby KE, Murray JA, Neugut AI, Green PH, Ludvigsson JF, #Annals of Internal Medicine# 2013 Aug 6;159(3):169-75.