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Infant Nutrition and Risk of Celiac Disease

This study has been terminated.
(A similar study was conducted and subsequently published in Italy.)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Alessio Fasano, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: January 7, 2009
Last updated: March 21, 2017
Last verified: March 2017
The study will identify a cohort of infants at risk for celiac disease that can be followed on a long term basis for investigating the natural history the celiac disease based on the pattern of early nutrition. The study will investigate possible early feeding patterns including the timing of introduction to gluten that may protect at least in part from CD development in at risk infants.

Condition Intervention
Celiac Disease
Infant Nutrition
Dietary Supplement: Gluten
Dietary Supplement: Gluten free diet

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Care Provider, Investigator
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Infant Nutrition and Risk of Celiac Disease: Proposal for an Intervention, Prospective Multicenter Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To evaluate the primary prevention of early onset celiac disease and related autoimmunity phenomena by comparing the frequency of disease development according to two different patterns of gluten introduction in at risk infants [ Time Frame: 5 years ]

Enrollment: 80
Study Start Date: April 2008
Study Completion Date: July 2013
Primary Completion Date: July 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1 Gluten containing diet
Gluten added to diet at 6 months per American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations
Dietary Supplement: Gluten
Purified gluten from exaploid wheat introduced per American Academy of Pediatric Recommendations. Three grams from 6-9 months and 5 grams from 9-12 months. The 3-5 grams represents the mean daily intake of gluten during the second half of the first year in infants of different countries.
Active Comparator: 2 Gluten free diet
Non gluten containing food starch added to diet from 6-12 months
Dietary Supplement: Gluten free diet
Non gluten containing starch added to diet. Three grams from 6-9 months and 5 grams from 9-12 months. After the age of 1 year all children will be allowed age appropriate unrestricted diet.

Detailed Description:

From weaning to age 12 months the clinical data, the adherence to the dietary protocol and the amount of intervention baby-food ingested will be checked every month. Following investigations will be performed at the time of recruitment, at time of weaning and at 12, 18, 24, 30,36, 42, 48, 54 and 60 months by taking a sample of blood (maximum 4 ml) from infants (a) quick test for IgA anti-tTG abs determination (few drops); (b) conventional ELISA for serum IgA and IgG anti-tTG determination (0.4 ml);(c) serum zonulin determination (0.1 ml); (e) serum sample for T1D-related autoantibodies (0.25 ml); (f) serum sample to be stocked in the sera bank (0.25 ml); (g) whole blood sample in EDTA for validation of the quick tests (0.5 ml). All the sera samples will be frozen, stored at -20 °C and sent (boxed in dry ice) in blocks to the centre responsible for the determinations every 2 months. Cases positive for the quick-test for anti-tTG the serum sample will be frozen and immediately shipped for confirmatory determination.

If infants develop symptoms during the intervention period (6 to 12 months) the group to which infant belongs will be decoded. Infants belonging to group A (on a gluten-containing diet) presenting symptoms suggestive of CD will undergo a complete diagnostic work-up for CD. These events will be reported in a form. After age 1 year, infants developing symptoms suggestive of active CD (chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, etc) in-between the scheduled visits will undergo a supplementary serological investigation. A small intestinal biopsy will be recommended in cases showing either serum anti-tTG abs higher than the cut-off or IgG-AGA higher than cut-off in infants with selective IgA deficiency. (Standard medical care and not part of research).

The evolution of the composition of the intestinal microbiota will be evaluated in both groups at 7d, 30d, 4-6 months (prior to weaning), 12,18,24,30,36, 42, 48, 54 and 60 months. The bacterial composition of stool will also be analyzed in a sub-sample of children developing active CD and in non-CD controls. All patients who develop CD will continue in the study.


Active CD: Children showing positive serology and signs of immune-mediated damage of the small intestinal mucosa on biopsy (ranging from isolated increase of intraepithelial lymphocytes to villous atrophy with crypt hypertrophy.)

CD serological autoimmunity positive: Children positive for IgA anti-tTG abs on two consecutive occasions.

Disruption of the small intestinal barrier: Children with an increased ratio of serum lactulose/mannitol with or without increased levels of serum zonulin.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 6 Months   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Newborns and infants less than 6 months of age
  • First-degree relatives of patients affected with biopsy-proven CD
  • On exclusive milk diet (breast milk or formula)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Infants that have gluten introduced in their diet before 5-6 months of age
  • Infants older than 6 months of age
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00819819

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital East
Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States, 02129
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: Alessio Fasano, M.D. Center for Celiac Research MGH
  More Information

Additional Information:

Responsible Party: Alessio Fasano, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT00819819     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013P000287
Study First Received: January 7, 2009
Last Updated: March 21, 2017

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Celiac Disease
Malabsorption Syndromes
Intestinal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Digestive System Diseases
Metabolic Diseases processed this record on April 28, 2017