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  • Jefferson Adams

    Can Better Biopsy Practices Improve Celiac Diagnosis in Children?

    Jefferson Adams
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    Celiac.com 03/27/2015 - Researchers don't have any solid idea about how common cases of seronegative celiac disease might be, but many feel strongly that rates of seronegative celiac disease are underestimated in children, and may result in misdiagnosis of celiac cases.

    Photo: CC--Ari BronsteinOne team of researchers wondered if an emphasis on "serology-led" diagnosis might be contributing to a low rate of celiac disease diagnosed in children from the United States. That research team included Deborah L. Preston and Yoram Elitsur, and they recently set out to investigate the rate of celiac disease after upper endoscopy (EGD) with no prior positive celiac serology compared with the rate of celiac disease followed by positive serology.



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    The team conducted a retrospective review of that charts of all of the first diagnostic EGDs in children (2009–2013). They split the patients with confirmed celiac disease into 4 groups: group A, positive EGD/positive serology (histology-led diagnosis); group B, positive serology/positive histology (serology-led diagnosis); group C, positive histology followed by negative serology (control 1); and group D, positive serology followed by negative histology (control 2).

    The team reviewed a total of 761 upper endoscopic charts. They confirmed 15 children with celiac disease, for a rate of 1.97%. Group A and group B had similar demographic data or clinical symptoms, and similar rates of celiac disease between histology-led celiac diagnosis (group A) and serology-led celiac diagnosis (group B) (1.18% vs 0.79%, P = 0.273).

    This study showed that endoscopy-led diagnosis and serology-led diagnosis found celiac disease at similar rates.

    This finding suggests that better diagnosis of celiac disease in children requires performing an adequate number of intestinal biopsies in every diagnostic upper endoscopic procedure.

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    My son was diagnosed as celiac only after the biopsy, grade IV. The blood test we did before was sero negative. We would have known if it was not for the biopsy.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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