24-hour urine excretions of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) have been measured in 13 children with coeliac disease before treatment. All were excreting more 5HIAA than an age-matched group of 22 control children. On introduction of a gluten-free diet clinical remission was accompanied by decreasing 5HIAA excretion. Excretion was normal in cases of acute and chronic diarrhoea and cystic fibrosis.
The test is proposed as an aid to diagnosis and a method of monitoring satisfactory dietary control.
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