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Positive Antigliadin Antibody (AGA) is a Poor Marker for Celiac Disease

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2006;18:503-506.

Celiac.com 08/14/2006 – A team of German researchers led by Dr. Martin W. Laass of the Childrens Hospital in Dresden have determined that antigliadin antibody (AGA) positivity disappears in over 50% of cases, and is therefore a poor marker for celiac disease. The researchers did follow up AGA testing on 69 adults and 47 children who participated in a much larger study conducted four years ago and found that only 26 of the adults and 21 of the children still had detectable levels of AGA in their blood samples, and none of them were positive for IgA-class anti-endomysial antibodies. Additionally no correlation was found in the subjects between their serum and fecal AGA.

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The researchers conclude that the appearance of AGA should be interpreted as a non-specific “immunomodulation phenomenon” that has low specificity as a diagnostic marker for celiac disease. The researchers emphasize that it is still unknown why the AGA markers are transient, but various conditions might account for it, including a change in the sensitivity of the test that was used in the original study conducted four years ago versus the one used in this study.

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