Celiac.com 01/07/2019 - Researchers have made progress in spotting celiac disease without biopsy in children with certain parameters. Can the same be done for adults? A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate the accuracy of serology-based criteria in adults with variable pre-test probabilities for celiac disease. The research team included V Fuchs, K Kurppa, H Huhtala, K Laurila, M Mäki, P Collin, T Salmi, L Luostarinen, P Saavalainen, and K Kaukinen.
There’s currently no good data on whether such an approach might work for adults with certain clinical presentations of celiac disease.
Three study cohorts included 421 adults with high-risk clinical celiac disease suspicion, 2,357 moderate-risk family members of celiac patients, and 2,722 low-risk individuals from the general population.
The team collected blood tests and other physical patient data. Their "triple criteria" for celiac disease included transglutaminase 2 antibodies more than ten times the upper limit of normal, positive endomysium antibodies, and appropriate genetics, but required no symptoms. The diagnosis was made by grading the intestinal biopsies.
In all, 274 patients were diagnosed with celiac disease. Of these, 59 high-risk subjects, 17 moderate-risk subjects, and 14 low-risk subjects fulfilled the "triple criteria.”
All had histologically proven celiac disease, giving the criteria a positive predictive value of 100%. Altogether, 90 of the 274 newly diagnosed patients could have avoided biopsy. That’s one in three patients who could have avoided biopsy. In all, 37% of high-risk, 20% of moderate-risk, and 48% of low-risk patients could have avoided biopsy.
Biopsies of "triple positive" subjects showed no histological findings other than celiac disease.
The results of this study are exciting, because it shows that the “triple criteria” can be used by doctors to reliably diagnose celiac disease in adults without using biopsy.
Implementing these diagnostic criteria would make diagnosing celiac disease easier in many cases, and will reduce the number of endoscopies by one-third. That’s a winning result all the way around.
The researchers in this article are variously affiliated with the Celiac Disease Research Center, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; the Tampere Center for Child Health Research, University of Tampere, and Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Tampere Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; the Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Department of Neurology, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti, Finland; the Research Programs Unit, Immunobiology, and Haartman Institute, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; the Department of Internal Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.