Effectiveness of antigliadin antibodies as a screening test for celiac disease in children.CMAJ. 1997 Sep 01; 157(5):527-33.CMAJ
To test the effectiveness of serologic antigliadin antibody (AGA) testing in predicting celiac disease in children.
Prospective clinical assessment.
Hôpital Sainte-Justine, montreal.
A total of 176 children with possible celiac disease who were referred for duodenal biopsy between January 1992 and June 1995.
IgA and IgG AGA titres, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); duodenal biopsy; clinical outcome on a gluten-free diet.
Of the 176 children 30 were found to have celiac disease according to the criteria of the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (ESPGAN). The sensitivity and specificity of the IgA AGA titre, as well as its positive and negative predictive values, were 80%, 92%, 67% and 96% respectively; the corresponding values for the IgG AGA titre were 83%, 79%, 45% and 96%. The respective values for IgA and IgG AGA titres combined were 93%, 71%, 43% and 98%. Only 2 of the 30 patients with celiac disease had false-negative results for both IgA and IgG AGA titres. The IgA and IgG AGA titres decreased significantly (p < 0.005) in all 11 patients after being on a gluten-free diet for at least 10 months and reached normal values in 8.
AGA screening for celiac disease permits better selection of patients for duodenal biopsy and adds specificity to the histologic diagnosis. Such screening cannot replace intestinal biopsy, which remains the gold standard for diagnosis.