[The predictive value of antigliadin antibodies (AGA) in the diagnosis of non-celiac gastrointestinal disease in children].Minerva Pediatr. 1993 Mar; 45(3):93-8.MP
Recent antigliadin antibody (AGA) determination has become an important diagnostic tool in coeliac disease (CD). Although this test has high sensibility for the disease, it is less specific, especially for IgG class, because of its having been found in some acute and chronic common intestinal childhood diseases. We studied the behaviour of AGA, IgA and IgG, in 234 children affected by various gastrointestinal diseases, comparing the results with those obtained in 125 coeliac children and 788 normal children. The intestinal diseases were as follows: irritable bowel syndrome, cow's milk protein intolerance, acute infectious diarrhoea, parasitosis, lactase deficiency, recurrent abdominal pain, cystic fibrosis, chronic constipation, gastroesophageal reflux, intestinal lymphangiectasia, chronic intractable diarrhoea and nodular lymphoid hyperplasia. Our results showed that while AGA-IgA were absent in all children studied, with the exception of 3 cases of acute diarrhoea, a moderate percentage of AGA-IgG was observed in subjects with cow's milk protein intolerance, acute diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, lactase deficiency, chronic intractable diarrhoea and in a low percentage of children with parasitosis, intestinal lymphangiectasia and nodular lymphoid hyperplasia. There was no antibody movement in subjects with cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux, recurrent abdominal pains and chronic constipation. The different behaviour of the two antibody classes could be explained by the fact that AGA-IgG were detected in diseases where scattered areas of mucosal damage could allow the permeability of the macromolecules inducing passage of gliadin through the mucosal barrier and immune system-induced antibody stimulation.