We present a 17-month-old girl with rapidly progressive unwillingness to sit, stand, play, and walk. Furthermore, she lacked appetite, vomited, lost weight, and had an iron deficiency. Physical examination revealed a cachectic, irritable girl with a distended abdomen, dystrophic legs with paraparesis, disturbed sensibility, and areflexia. An MRI scan revealed abnormal high signal intensity on T2-weighted images in the cord on the thoracic level, without cerebral abnormalities, indicating transverse myelitis (TM). Laboratory investigations revealed elevated immunoglobulin A antibodies against gliadin (1980.0 kU/L; normal, 0–10.1 kU/L) and tissue transglutaminase (110.0 kU/L; normal, 0–10.1 kU/L). Gastroscopy revealed villous atrophy in the duodenal biopsies and lymphocytic gastritis according to Marsh IIIb, compatible with celiac disease (CD). After the start of a gluten free diet and methylprednisolone, she recovered completely. To our knowledge, this is the first pediatric case of TM as manifestation of CD. We suggest that all children with TM or other neurologic manifestations of unknown origin should be screened for CD.

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