Coeliac disease can cause major growth retardation and failure to thrive in young children. However, the diagnosis of coeliac disease is not always straightforward. In this article, diagnostic approaches are discussed, i.e. when small bowel biopsy is needed, or when serological tests alone will suffice. Furthermore, two cases of young children potentially suffering from coeliac disease are presented. The first case is a four-year-old boy with growth retardation and gastrointestinal symptoms, the second case a 14-month-old girl with growth retardation, gastrointestinal symptoms and rhinorrhoea. Using the current diagnostic algorithm for coeliac disease in young children, we analyse both cases, providing background information on the different laboratory tests involved.
Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.