Autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease (CD) and diabetes mellitus type 1, tend to co-occur within the same patient. The prevalence of CD in diabetic children is higher than in the general population, and is estimated to be 0.6-16.4%. The diagnosis of CD is based on histopathological examination and serological testing, however, these methods are still imperfect and new diagnostic algorithms should be considered.
The aim of the study was to assess the diagnostic value of serological tests detecting antibodies against deamidated gliadin peptide, endomysium, tissue transglutaminase, neo-epitope tissue transglutaminase and to identify HLA-related genetic predisposition to CD in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1).
Autoantibodies were measured in the sera of 392 children suffering from DM1 aged 1-19 years old (mean 11.76 ± 4.14 years old). Additionally, PCR-based assessment of HLA DQ2/DQ8 genotyping was performed.
A positive result of at least one serological test was obtained from 81 children (20.66%). The sensitivity and specificity were 76.47% and 91.67% for anti-DGP IgA, 70.59% and 58.33% for IgG anti-DGP, respectively. A positive predictive value was 100% for the anti-TG IgA at cutoff levels of 5 and 10 times higher than upper limit of reference values. HLA DQ2 and/or DQ8 were found in 97.6% of examined children.
Tests based on anti-TG IgA are more accurate for detecting CD in children with type 1 diabetes than anti-DGP IgA. A high percentage of diabetic children carry HLA alleles predisposing to CD, which indicates that genetic screening in this group of patients is not obligated.