Small bowel biopsy is the gold standard for Celiac Disease (CD) diagnosis, nevertheless serum assays are the first step in ascertaining a diagnosis of CD. New ESPGHAN Criteria 2012 (European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition) suggest using exclusively anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA antibodies (anti-tTGA) as initial approach to symptomatic subjects. The aim of our study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of anti-tTGA as initial screening assay for CD in a large cohort of pediatric patients.
We selected 730 subjects aged between 6 months and 4 years ("Group A") and 348 subjects younger than 2 years (which are part of the 730 subjects) ("Group B"). We performed anti-Deamidated Gliadin Peptides IgA and IgG antibodies (a-DGP IgA/IgG) and anti-tTGA assays by ELISA test. We evaluated the agreement between anti-tTGA and a-DGP IgA/IgG assays and compared the diagnostic accuracy of a-DGP IgA/IgG with that of anti-tTGA in both groups of patients.
There was a substantial agreement between anti-tTGA and a-DGP IgA in "Group A" and an almost perfect agreement in "Group B"; the strength of agreement between anti-tTGA and a-DGP IgG was moderate in "Group A" and substantial in "Group B". anti-tTGA were more sensitive and specific than a-DGP IgA/IgG in both groups.
anti-tTGA could be used as initial screening assay for CD in all subjects from 6 months of age according to ESPGHAN Criteria 2012.