In a 60-year-old patient with adult celiac disease complete clinical remission was achieved with a glutenfree diet, but symptoms of sprue subsequently recurred despite rigid adherence to dietary restrictions. Further investigations revealed simultaneous occurrence of two severe complications of celiac disease: collagenous sprue and ulcerative jejunoileitis. The patient died after a 2 1/2 year course of refractory, severe, relentlessly progressive malabsorption. In the light of the literature and this observation it is postulated that in every case of primary or secondary refractory celiac disease complications must be sought: to diagnose collagenous sprue, aspiration biopsy from the proximal jejunum, and possibly also from the terminal ileum, may be more efficient than simple endoscopic biopsy from the descending duodenum. If the diagnosis of collagenous sprue can be established, therapy with steroids should be attempted. The diagnosis of ulcerative jejunoileitis is usually missed by radiology and requires exploratory laparotomy.