Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista médica de Chile]]> http://www.scielo.cl/rss.php?pid=0034-988720100011&lang=es vol. 138 num. 10 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.cl/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.cl <![CDATA[<b>Actividad física y su asociación con factores de riesgo cardiovascular</b>: <b>Un estudio en adultos jóvenes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Physical activity (PA) has a protective role in cardiovascular diseases. Aim: To quantify PA in young adults and to correlate it with cardiovascular risk factors. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed employing the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ), to measure the PA of 983 randomly selected young adults from Valparaiso region born between 1974 and 1978. Its results were associated with levels of obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP- ATP III) Results: Mean physical activity among men and women was 3731 ± 3923 and 1360 ± 2303 METs-minutes/week, respectively (p < 0.001). Fifty percent of women and 21.5% of men had an insuffcient level of physical activity (p < 0.001). Sixty percent of men and 23.4% of women had an intense level of physical activity (p < 0.001). There was an inverse association of physical activity and insulin resistance. A high physical activity was protective, specially among men, against a low HDL cholesterol level and high triglyceride levels with Odds Ratios of 0.59 (confdence interval (CI): 0,35-0.98) and 0.49 (CI: 0,27-0,87) respectively, after adjusting for body mass index and age. Conclusions: In this sample, men had higher levels of physical activity, that was protective against insulin resistance and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors. <![CDATA[<b>Tratamiento integral de la obesidad infantil</b>: <b>Efecto de una intervención psicológica</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Disrupted eating behaviors and psychological issues can have a role in the development of childhood obesity. Aim: To assess the effects of psychological support as an adjunct to the treatment of obesity among children. Material and Methods: Retrospective analysis of a group of 152 obese children aged 3 to 16 years, who received medical, Nutritional and physical training treatment. Seventy three (Group I) were invited to participate in a protocol of psychological support and 79 formed the control group (Group 2). Body mass index, body fat mass, waist circumference, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, eating and physical activity habits were evaluated. Family structure, history of food rejection, psychological, physical and social development, and adherence to the program were also analyzed. To analyze responses to treatment, Group I was further divided into those who attended the psychology sections (intervened group) and those who did not attend (non intervened group). Results: At baseline, there were no differences in anthropometric, metabolic, familial and psychological profile among Groups I and 2. Family structure, eating behaviors and physical and social development were normal. Those associated with lack of control appeared as negative characteristics. There was a significant improvement in eating habits and physical activity among intervened children of Group 1 and Group 2. No significant change in weight was recorded in all three groups. Compliance with the program was significantly better among intervened children in Group 1 (62.1% at sixth months), compared with non intervened children of Group 1 (15.9%) and Group 2 (30.3%). Conclusions: Obese children who attended psychological support therapy as an adjunct to a weight reducing program, had a better compliance with treatment but did not achieve a higher weight loss. <![CDATA[<b>Validación de un puntaje de riesgo cardiovascular en niños españoles aplicado a una población de escolares de Santiago de Chile</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: A cardiovascular risk score for children, that includes traditional risk factors, obesity, sedentary habits and a family history of cardiovascular disease, has been recently proposed by Spanish researchers. Aim: To apply this score in school age children in Santiago de Chile and correlate its results with markers of subclinical atherosclerotic disease. Material and Methods: Retrospective analysis of data obtained from 209 children, aged 11.5 ± 2 years, studied between 2005 and 2006. Weight, height, blood pressure, ultrasound measurement of carotid intimamedia thickness and fow mediated dilatation of brachial artery and ultrasensible C reactive protein (us PCR) were measured. The Spanish cardiovascular risk score was calculated and correlated with ultrasound parameters and C reactive protein. Results: According to the score, 173 children (83%) had a low cardiovascular risk, 28 (13%) an intermediate risk and 8 (4%) a high risk. There was no association between the cardiovascular risk score and carotid intima-media thickness, fow mediated arterial dilatation and us PCR. Conclusions: No significant association was observed between the proposed cardiovascular risk score and early markers of atherosclerotic disease in this group of children. <![CDATA[<b>Nivel de actividad física medida a través del cuestionario internacional de actividad física en población Chilena</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Physical activity plays a crucial role in the protection against cardiovascular diseases. Aim: To assess the level of physical activity in a group of subjects living in urban Temuco. Material and Methods: Cross sectional study in a random sample of 1091 women aged 52 ± 10 years and 444 men aged 54 ± 10 years , living in Temuco, Chile. The level of physical activity was measured using the long form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Age, gender, educational and socioeconomic level were also determined in study subjects. Results: Median energy expenditure was 2150 and 1600 MET-minute/ week in men and women, respectively (p = 0,001). It decreased with age from a median of 1965 MET-minute/ week in those younger than 50 years old to 1647 MET-minute/ week among subjects aged between 51 and 60 years old and to 1485 MET-minute/ week among those older than 60 years. (p = 0,001). The frequency of high, moderate and low physical activity levels were 15.6, 66 and 18.4 % respectively. These levels were associated with gender, age, educational and socioeconomic level. Conclusions: There was a high frequency of low and moderate levels of physical activity in the urban population of Temuco, associated with female gender, advanced age and middle socioeconomic level. <![CDATA[<b>Postergación de la maternidad en Chile</b>: <b>Una realidad oculta</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Delayed motherhood is a common phenomenon in the developed world, where the age at frst delivery is around 30 years. In Chile the National Institute of Statistics established that this age has remained around 23 years for more than two decades. Motherhood postponement may be modulated by socioeconomic status. Aim: To determine whether the age at frst delivery is higher in a private clinic compared to a public hospital. Patients and Methods: Two cohorts of primiparous women delivering in 1998 and 2008 in the public hospital San Borja Arriarán (HSBA) and a private setting Clínica Las Condes (CLC), were analyzed. Results: The age of all delivering women was significantly lower in HSBA than in CLC in both study periods (26.3 ± 0.8 and 25.7 ± 0.9 compared to 31.6 ± 0.1 and 32.7 ± 0.1 years, respectively). Likewise, the frequency of adolescent pregnancy was significantly higher in HSBA than CLC in both study periods (38.8 and 42.2% compared to 1.7 and 1.6% respectively). The age at frst delivery was significantly lower in both periods in HSBA (21.8 and 21.3 years compared to 28.6 and 30.6 years, respectively). Excluding primiparous women of less than 20 years, the difference in age was smaller, but remained still significant (24.6 and 24.2 versus 29.9 and 31.0 years, respectively). Conclusions: In Santiago, the postponement of motherhood is more marked among women of high socioeconomic status. <![CDATA[<b>Efectos de la glicina sobre los trastornos de conducción del nervio auditivo en pacientes diabéticos tipo 2 con otoneuropatía</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Glycine inhibits the formation of advanced glycation end products that may cause central and peripheral neuronal damage, affecting also the auditory nerve. Aim: To evaluate the effect of glycine on auditory nerve conduction and hearing level among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and auditory neuropathy. Material and Methods: Twenty grams of oral glycine per day were administered during 6 months to 28 type 2 diabetic patients aged 58 ± 6 years, with auditory pathway neuropathy. Hearing tests and evoked otoacustic potentials were performed regularly. Fifteen diabetic patients aged 49 ± 8 years, without auditory nerve neuropathy did not receive glycine and were followed as a control group. Results: Among patients receiving glycine, a significant improvement in left ear audiometry at 125, 250 and 500 Hz and right ear audiometry at 500 Hz, was observed. Waves I, III and V (p= 0.02) of evoked otoacustic potentials improved significantly in the left ear and wave I in the right ear. Among controls, waves V and III of evoked otoacoustic potentials had a significant impairment in the left ear. Conclusions: There was an improvement in auditory evoked potentials in patients receiving glycine and an impairment in untreated control patients. <![CDATA[<b>Análisis de la tendencia de la mortalidad por cirrosis hepática en Chile</b>: <b>Años 1990 a 2007</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: There is a worldwide tendency towards a reduction in the rates of deaths due to cirrhosis. In Chile, a decrease in the number of hospital admissions due to this disease has been recorded. Aim: To assess general characteristics and temporal evolution of liver cirrhosis mortality in Chile between 1990 and 2007. Material and Methods: National death records and population databases were reviewed. Crude and age-adjusted mortality rates for alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis were calculated, evaluating their evolution in the study period and the relative risk by gender. Results: In the study period, 44,894 deaths caused by cirrhosis were recorded. Mortality rate was 16.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. 54% of deaths were attributed to non-alcoholic cirrhosis. There was a reduction in mortality rates for both types of cirrhosis. Males accounted for 83 and 65% of deaths caused by alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis, respectively. The figures for relative risk of death were 5 and 1.9, respectively. Conclusions: Alcoholic cirrhosis was the preponderant cause among liver cirrhosis deaths. A decrease in mortality rates was observed in the study period. Improvements in disease treatment and control could possibly explain this trend. <![CDATA[<b>El comportamiento del factor de necrosis tumoral alfa e interleucina 6 en lesiones de vías biliares postcolecistectomía</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: During cholecystectomy, the bile duct may be injured. When this complication occurs, Kupffer cells are activated and produce tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL6) to phagocyte toxic products Aim: To measure serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 among patients that suffered a bile duct injury after a cholecystectomy. Patients and Methods: Serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were measured prior to the bile-enteric derivation and after one year of follow up, in 31 patients that had a complete bile duct obstruction after open or laparoscopic cholecystectomy and in 5 healthy controls. Results: At baseline TNF-α levels in healthy subjects and patients with bile duct injury were 0 and 43.9 ± 2.9 ng/mL, respectively (p < 0.01). At one year of follow up, TNF-á became undetectable among patients. At baseline, the values for IL-6 among healthy controls and patients were 3.0 ± 2.0 and 72.0 ± 94.7 pg/mL respectively, (p < 0,004). After one year of follow up, IL-6 levels decreased to 6.4 ± 0.3 pg/mL among patients. Conclusions: TNF-α and IL-6 levels were elevated before bile-enteric derivation among patients with bile duct injury and became normal one year later. <![CDATA[<b>Mielinolisis central pontina en trasplante hepático</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Central Pontine Myelinolysis (CPM) is the most severe neurological complication after liver transplantation and apparently is not related to changes in osmolarity. Aim: To report five transplanted patients with CPM. Patients and Methods: In a series of 27 patients subjected to liver transplantation between 2005 and 2008, we found five patients who developed CPM. Results: All patients presented a severe hepatic encephalopathy. In the absence of alterations in osmolality, they developed, between the second to seventh day after transplantation, a central quadriplegia, hyperreflexia and Babinski sign, with preservation of sensorium. Magnetic resonance imaging showed demyelination of the motor pathway only in the protuberance. Motor recovery first began in the fingers and hands, followed by forearms, toes, feet, arms and finally the legs, defining a somatotopic recovery of the cortico-spinal pathway. Conclusions: This form of regaining motility shows that the selective involvement of the pyramidal tract in CPM, is according to its location in the pons and suggests a local entrapment. It is due to the structural rigidity of the protuberance that limits the expansive requirements of cytotoxic and vasogenic edema, and only affects the long fibers of cortico-spinal tracts, sensitized by encephalopathy. The entrapment syndromes generally preserve the axons, injure myelin and have no inflammatory reactions. <![CDATA[<b>Espondilodiscitis tuberculosa en Cádiz (España) durante diez años</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Background: Tuberculous spondylodiscitis is relatively uncommon but represents the most common location of osseous tuberculosis. Aim: To describe clinical features, imaging studies and laboratory tests to establish the diagnosis in a group of patients living in Cádiz (Spain). Material and Methods: Retrospective analysis of medical records of patients with tuberculous spondylodiscitis diagnosed between 2000 and 2009. The diagnosis was based on microorganism recovery from vertebral samples obtained by imaging guided biopsies. Results: Six patients with positive Mycobac-terium tuberculosis cultures from vertebral samples, were identified (10% of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis). In only 2 patients the Ziehl-Nielsen stain was positive, and histology was compatible in 4 cases. Four patients were females, their mean age was 54.3 years and the mean duration of symptoms was 7.3 months. Three patients had lumbar location and a positive Mantoux test. A soft tissue abscess was present in 4 cases. None of these patients had neurological complications. The treatment with four tuberculostatic agents (isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol) was effective in 5 patients. Conclusions: Tuberculous spondylodiscitis may become a serious disease due to diagnostic and treatment delays. The main examinations to establish diagnosis are magnetic resonance imaging and biopsy with microbiological culture. Generally, antituberculous therapy is effective in this clinical situation. <![CDATA[<b>Invaginación intestinal en adultos como manifestación de enfermedad celíaca</b>: <b>Caso clínico</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Acute abdominal pain caused by perforation, intestinal lymphoma or intussusception is an uncommon manifestation in adult celiac disease. We report a 49 year-old female with history of irritable bowel syndrome and osteoporosis consulting for acute abdominal pain and severe abdominal distention. Abdominal CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging showed a jejunal intussusception and other radiological alterations that suggested the possibility of celiac disease. Serological antibodies (endomysial and transglutaminase antibodies), endoscopy and the pathological study of duodenal biopsies confirmed the diagnosis. With a gluten free diet, the patient remains asymptomatic. <![CDATA[<b>Colagenosis perforante reactiva adquirida</b>: <b>Caso clínico</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Acquired reactive perforating collagenosis is a perforating dermatosis characterized by transepidermal elimination of collagen. It is frequently associated to diabetes mellitus and chronic renal insuffciency, but it is also related to other systemic diseases. The lesions tend to resolve once the underlying condition is treated. We report two patients with the condition. A 65 year-old diabetic female on hemodialysis consulted for multiple itching cutaneous ulcers lasting one year. On physical examination, hyperpigmented papules and nodules were observed. A 65 year-old female with chronic renal failure in hemodialysis consulted for itching lesions in hands, forearms and arms. On physical examination, hyperpigmented lesions with ulcers, erosions and crusts were observed. In both cases, the pathological study of the lesions disclosed a reactive perforating collagenosis. <![CDATA[<b>Hipoglicemia recurrente como causa reversible de síndrome demencial en adultos mayores diabéticos, a propósito de un caso</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es We report a 78 year-old diabetic woman, treated with gliburide and metformin, consulting in the emergency room for a non fuctuating impairment in consciousness. She had a history of similar episodes in the last two months. A brain CAT scan showed an old putamen lacunar infarction. Noteworthy was the presence of a low glycosilated hemoglobin level of 5.2%. Hypoglycemic medications were discontinued and the patient was discharged in good conditions. After six months of follow up, the patient did not have further episodes of impairment of consciousness. <![CDATA[<b>Fitoterapia, sus orígenes, características y situación en Chile</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Phytotherapy is defined as the use of medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes and it uses a variety of complex vegetal structures. In public health, it is considered a type of alternative medicine, in which auto medication with herbs is common and there is a lack of quality assurance of herbal products. While the World Health Organization is proposing strategies to include complementary and alternative therapies as public health tools, in Chile this type of therapy is emerging. There is a lack of interest and underestimation of conventional medicine towards popular knowledge. At the present time, the Chilean Ministry of Health has recognized 103 plants aiming to promote the use of medicinal plants that are registered and certifed, according to the regulations of the National Control System of Pharmaceutical Products. Therefore, health care professionals should be educated about the association between pharmaceutical products and medicinal plants. Consultation systems about Phytotherapy should also be available, information should be provided about where to purchase safe herbal products and publicity about these products should be regulated. <![CDATA[<b>El tejido graso como modulador endocrino</b>: <b>Cambios hormonales asociados a la obesidad</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Adipose tissue not only stores fat, but secretes factors and hormones, which modify the regulation, metabolism and secretion of several other hormones. The objective of this review is to describe the hormonal disorders associated with increased adipose tissue, which acts as a modulator or disruptor of the endocrine physiology, with special reference to cortisol, androgens, growth hormone and thyroid axis, and discuss the implications for the management and treatment of these patients. <![CDATA[<b>Los virus de las hepatitis no siempre son habituales</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The classic hepatotropic viruses, hepatitis A through E, are not the only viral agents able to infect the liver. Other systemic viruses may cause hepatic injury that can range from mild and transient elevation of aminotransferases to acute hepatitis and occasionally acute liver failure and fulminant hepatitis. The clinical presentation may be indistinguishable from that associated with classic hepatotropic viruses. These agents include cytomegalovirus; Epstein-Barr virus; herpes simplex virus; varicella-zoster virus; human herpesvirus 6, 7, and 8; human parvovirus B19; adenoviruses among others. Wide spectrums of clinical syndromes are associated with cytomegalovirus disease. Unique clinical syndromes may present in neonates, young adults and immunocompromised hosts infected with cytomegalovirus. Cases of fulminant hepatitis have been reported in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts infected with Epstein Barr virus. Occasionally, these patients with acute hepatic failure may need liver transplantation. Herpes simplex viruses may involve the liver in neonatal infections, pregnancy, immunocompromised hosts and occasionally, immunocompetent adults. Varicella-Zoster virus has also been associated with severe acute hepatitis and fulminant hepatitis in adults. The drug of choice for these conditions is intravenous acyclovir. These may also need liver transplantation in the more severe forms of clinical presentation. Typical liver biopsy findings can be useful in determining the diagnosis of these viral infections. Human herpesviruses 6, 7, and 8, human parvovirus B19, and adenoviruses can also be present with features of acute liver injury and occasionally as fulminant hepatitis. The clinical syndromes are less well delineated than those associated with herpesviruses. It is important to consider these viruses as possible etiologic agents in patients who have acute liver injury and their serologic markers for the classic hepatotropic viruses are not indicative of an active infection.<hr/>Los agentes de la hepatitis viral A, B, C, D y E no son los únicos virus que pueden causar un síndrome de daño hepático agudo. Agentes virales como el citomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex 1 y 2, Varicella-Zoster, virus herpes humano 6, 7, y 8, parvovirus B19 y adenovirus pueden causar daño hepático agudo e inclusive presentarse como hepatitis fulminante. Los cuadros clínicos de daño hepático agudo por citomegalovirus, Epstein Barr y herpes simplex 1 y 2 han sido caracterizado mejor. Se ha intentado el uso de drogas antivirales específicas como el uso intravenoso de aciclovir. Ocasionalmente, se ha requerido el trasplante hepático para rescatar pacientes con hepatitis fulminantes por estos agentes virales. La biopsia hepática puede ser de utilidad en estos casos puesto que los hallazgos son bastante característicos. La expresión clínica asociada a infecciones por virus herpes humano 6, 7 y 8, parvovirus B19 y adenovirus son menos características. Ha habido varios casos de hepatitis fulminante causada por estos agentes virales. Estos agentes virales deben ser considerados en el diagnóstico de casos de daño hepático agudo e inclusive hepatitis fulminante cuando los marcadores virales para los virus de hepatitis A-E son negativos. <![CDATA[<b>Deficiencia de vitamina D</b>: <b>¿Factor de riesgo de síndrome metabólico?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Vitamin D has an essential role in calcium metabolism and bone health. Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is synthesized from 7-dehydrocholesterol or provitamin D3, by sunlight ultraviolet radiation to the skin. 7-dehydrocholesterol is subsequently hydroxylated in the liver and then in the kidney to produce 1,25-(OH)2D3, the active metabolite that binds to specific receptors (VDR) in target tissues, mainly bone and intestine. Other tissues, such as the immune and cardiovascular system, have also VDR. Vitamin D deficiency can induce rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. A possible inverse association between vitamin D levels and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has been proposed. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of type 1 diabetes, insulin resistance, and hypertension, key components of this syndrome. However, other studies have not confirmed this association. Further clinical and experimental studies are needed to ascertain the role of vitamin D in metabolic syndrome. <![CDATA[<b>El gluten</b>: <b>Su historia y efectos en la enfermedad celíaca</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The global prevalence of celiac disease is of one person per 250 inhabitants. The disease is induced by gluten, a peptide contained in wheat, rye and barley that during small intestinal digestion generates smaller peptides. Some of these are resistant to hydrolysis and cross through the epithelium into the mucosa, inducing a cascade of immune reactions leading to the appearance of the disease in susceptible individuals. Gluten appeared as a consequence of agricultural practices initiated 10000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of southwest Asia. Celiac disease epidemiology is complicated since consumption of gluten differs depending on the origin of populations. Treatment of celiac disease consists of withdrawing gluten from the diet, a task that becomes difficult in the long term. The concept of gluten-free food has changed along time. This article updates the concept of celiac disease, the history of gluten consumption in the world, the characteristics of a gluten free diet and the difficulties to adhere to it. <![CDATA[<b>Osteonecrosis mandibular por bisfosfonato intravenoso</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100019&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The global prevalence of celiac disease is of one person per 250 inhabitants. The disease is induced by gluten, a peptide contained in wheat, rye and barley that during small intestinal digestion generates smaller peptides. Some of these are resistant to hydrolysis and cross through the epithelium into the mucosa, inducing a cascade of immune reactions leading to the appearance of the disease in susceptible individuals. Gluten appeared as a consequence of agricultural practices initiated 10000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of southwest Asia. Celiac disease epidemiology is complicated since consumption of gluten differs depending on the origin of populations. Treatment of celiac disease consists of withdrawing gluten from the diet, a task that becomes difficult in the long term. The concept of gluten-free food has changed along time. This article updates the concept of celiac disease, the history of gluten consumption in the world, the characteristics of a gluten free diet and the difficulties to adhere to it. <![CDATA[<b>La importancia de reconocer el anillo de Kayser-Fleischer como signo diagnóstico en Medicina</b>]]> http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0034-98872010001100020&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The global prevalence of celiac disease is of one person per 250 inhabitants. The disease is induced by gluten, a peptide contained in wheat, rye and barley that during small intestinal digestion generates smaller peptides. Some of these are resistant to hydrolysis and cross through the epithelium into the mucosa, inducing a cascade of immune reactions leading to the appearance of the disease in susceptible individuals. Gluten appeared as a consequence of agricultural practices initiated 10000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of southwest Asia. Celiac disease epidemiology is complicated since consumption of gluten differs depending on the origin of populations. Treatment of celiac disease consists of withdrawing gluten from the diet, a task that becomes difficult in the long term. The concept of gluten-free food has changed along time. This article updates the concept of celiac disease, the history of gluten consumption in the world, the characteristics of a gluten free diet and the difficulties to adhere to it.