To determine the accuracy of antigliadin and antiendomysium antibodies for the diagnosis of celiac disease in diabetic children and adolescents with and without digestive symptoms.
177 children and adolescents with IDDM aged 15.4 +/- 5.4 years (mean +/- SD). Antigliadin (ELISA) and antiendomysium (IFI) antibodies were measured in 177 and 35 patients, respectively.
Seven of 177 patients (3.9%; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-6.7) had celiac disease. The specificities of antiendomysium antibodies test (83%), IgA-antigliadin antibodies test (80%) and IgG-antigliadin antibodies test (90%) and the positive predictive values of these antibodies (55-75%) were lower than those obtained with the combined determination of these antibodies (100%). Negative antibodies and normal mucosa in one determination did not rule out the development of celiac disease later.
The combined determination of antigliadin and antiendomysium antibodies is the test of choice in screening for celiac disease in diabetic patients. The yearly investigation of these antibodies is a reliable method for detecting silent celiac disease in this population.