Celiac.com 03/11/2010 - Many people are confused about which tests provide the most accurate results for a celiac disease diagnosis. In a recent study by a team at the Department of Gastroenternology and Internal Medicine, St. Orsola-Malpigihi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, researchers evaluated current testing methods, and made some conclusions about celiac testing that may shed light on the subject for those of us overwhelmed by current conflicting information.
Duodenal biopsy is considered to be the universal 'gold standard' for celiac diagnosis. However, in recent years the importance of serological testing has been been emphasized as a reliable marker for antibodies as well. The tTG antibodies of IgA class are currently recognized to be the most effective test for celiac screening, resulting in up to 95% accuracy. Although, a new serological test, DGP, is now being investigated as a more reliable alternative to tTG.
The results of these tests clearly demonstrate that IgA DGP does not offer any advantages to the IgA tTG antibodies, and is actually less accurate and more expensive. However, IgG DGP antibodies present an invaluable tool in screening for celiac disease in cases where IgA tTG tests fail. Eventually, a new antibody screening will hopefully be designed which combines IgA tTG and IgG DGP, and reduces the number of tests currently used in celiac screening. However, intestinal biopsy is always required to confirm the presence of celiac disease no matter what serological tests are involved.