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Point-of-Care Test Helps Spot Undiagnosed Celiac Disease
Celiac.com 01/19/2015 - A team of researchers set out to determine what factors might influence dissemination of a new and validated commercial Point-of-Care Test (POCT) for celiac disease, in the Mediterranean area, when used in settings where it was designed to be administered, especially in countries with poor resources.
The research team included S. Costa, L. Astarita, M. Ben-Hariz, G. Currò, J. Dolinsek, A. Kansu, G. Magazzu, S. Marvaso, D. Micetic-Turku, S. Pellegrino, G. Primavera, P. Rossi, A. Smarrazzo, F. Tucci, C. Arcidiaco, and L. Greco.
For their study, the team relied on family pediatricians in Italy, and nurses and pediatricians in Slovenia and Turkey, to look for celiac disease in 3,559 children aged 1-14 years, 1,480 (ages 14-23 years) and 771 (1-18 years) asymptomatic subjects, respectively. This was done at pediatrician offices, schools and university primary care centers
The team used a new POCT that detects IgA-tissue antitransglutaminase antibodies and IgA deficiency in a finger-tip blood drop. Subjects with positive screens and those suspected of having celiac disease were referred to a Celiac Centre to confirm the diagnosis.
The team then estimated POCT Positive Predictive Value (PPV) at tertiary care (with Negative Predictive Value) and in primary care settings, and POCT and celiac disease rates per thousand in primary care.
At tertiary care setting, PPV of the POCT and 95% CI were 89.5 (81.3-94.3) and 90 (56-98.5) with Negative Predictive Value 98.5 (94.2-99.6) and 98.7% (92-99.8) in children and adults, respectively.
In primary care settings of different countries where POCT was performed by a different number of personnel, PPV ranged from 16 to 33%, and the celiac disease rates per thousand ranged from 4.77 to 1.3, while and POCT rates ranged from 31.18 to 2.59, respectively.
This study shows that interpretation of POCT results by different personnel may influence the performance of POC, but that use of POCT is an urgent priority for diagnosing celiac disease among people of countries with limited resources, such as rural populations and school children.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams