Celiac.com 03/09/2016 - Can doctors reliably diagnose celiac disease in kids without duodenal biopsy?

Photo: CC--AmblinA team of researchers recently set out to see if they could use predictive values of transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies to diagnose celiac disease in kids, without performing duodenal biopsy.

The research team included MA Aldaghi, SM Dehghani, and M Haghighat, of the Department of Pediatrics at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Shiraz, Iran.

For their study, the team selected patients with likely celiac disease, who had been referred to a gastrointestinal clinic. The team first conducted physical examinations of the patients and performed tissue transglutaminase-immunoglobulin A (tTG-IgA) tests. For patients with serological titers higher than 18 IU/mL, the team performed upper endoscopy.

The team assessed a total of 121 children, 69 female and 52 male, averaging 8.4 years of age. They found a significant association between blood tests and biopsy results; in other words, subjects with high antibody levels had more positive pathologic results for celiac disease, compared to others (P < 0.001).

They achieved maximum sensitivity and maximum specificity of about 65% with a serological titer of 81.95 IU/ml. The calculated accuracy was lower in comparison with other studies.

The team found lower antibody levels in patients with failure to gain weight and higher antibody levels in diabetic patients.

In this study, a single blood test (tTg-IgA test) was not sufficient for researchers to reliably diagnose celiac disease without duodenal biopsy.

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