High accuracy and cost-effectiveness of a biopsy-avoiding endoscopic approach in diagnosing coeliac disease.Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jan 01; 23(1):61-9.AP
The 'immersion' technique during upper endoscopy allows the visualization of duodenal villi and the detection of total villous atrophy.
To evaluate the accuracy of the immersion technique in detecting total villous atrophy in suspected coeliac patients. The accuracy in diagnosing coeliac disease and the potential cost-sparing of a biopsy-avoiding approach, based on selection of individuals with coeliac disease-related antibodies and on endoscopic detection of absence of villi, were also analysed.
The immersion technique was performed in 79 patients with positive antibodies and in 105 controls. Duodenal villi were evaluated as present or absent. As reference, results were compared with histology. Diagnostic approaches, including endoscopy with or without biopsy, were designed to investigate patients with coeliac disease-related antibodies and total villous atrophy. A cost-minimization analysis was performed.
All patients with positive antibodies had coeliac disease. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of endoscopy to detect total villous atrophy was always 100%. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of biopsy-avoiding or biopsy-including strategies in diagnosing coeliac disease when villi were absent was always 100%. The biopsy-avoiding strategy was cost-sparing.
Upper endoscopy is highly accurate in detecting total villous atrophy coeliac patients. A biopsy-avoiding approach is both accurate and cost-sparing to diagnose coeliac disease in subjects with marked duodenal villous atrophy.