Celiac.com 11/03/2008 - Blood testing for radioimmunoassay (RIA) tissue transglutaminase auto-antibodies (tTG-Abs) has proven to be a sensitive test for celiac disease follow-up. Recent studies have shown that RIA can accurately detect tTG-Abs in human saliva. However, not much is known about reliability of this method for monitoring the progress of celiac disease over time in patients who are attempting to follow a gluten-free diet.

A team of researchers recently set out to assess salivary RIA tTG-Abs in celiac children on gluten-free diet. The research team included doctors M. Bonamico, R. Nenna, R.P.L. Luparia, C. Perricone, M. Montuori, F. Lucantoni, A. Castronovo, S. Mura; A. Turchetti, P. Strappini, and C. Tiberti.

The team evaluated blood and saliva samples taken from 109 children at the time of their diagnosis for celiac disease. The first group included 71 females, with an average age of 9.4 years. A second group included 58 people who were following a gluten-free diet. The second group was broken into two subgroups: group 2a with 36 patients assessed at 3-6 months; and group 2b with 34 patients at 9 months or more (group 2b).

The research team also included two control groups matched for age and sex. Group 3 included 89 gastroenterological patients, while group 4 included 49 healthy subjects. The team used RIA to detect tTG-Abs in saliva and blood, and compared the results against two other established tests: serum tTG-Abs