Do Serological Tests Eliminate the Need for Endoscopic Biopsy for the Diagnosis of Symptomatic Patients with Celiac Disease? A Retrospective Study with Review of Literature

Mohammad Hossein Anbardar, Neda Soleimani, Ehsan Torabi Dashtaki, Naser Honar, Mozhgan Zahmatkeshan, Sahand Mohammadzadeh



 Celiac disease is one of the most common genetic allergies worldwide. The prevalence of celiac disease in Iran is similar to or even higher than the global prevalence. Celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the small intestine. Affected patients are allergic to gluten protein that exists in some grains, such as wheat and barley.


 Serological endomysial IgA antibody (EMA-AB (endomysial IgA antibody) and tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody TTG-IgA (TTG-IgAtissue transglutaminase IgA antibody) tests were performed on 114 patients aged the ages of 0–18 years with histopathological findings of celiac disease. The results of these tests were compared to the results of the histopathological study of the duodenal biopsy.


 Based on the ROC curve and a calculation of the TTG-IgA test's sensitivity and specificity, the best diagnostic limit for the TTG-IgA test is 144, which has the best sensitivity and specificity. At this value (cut-off), the test's sensitivity was 62%, and the specificity was 93.7%. For the endomysial test, sensitivity, specificity, PPV(positive predictive value), and NPV(negative predictive value) were 80%, 93%, 90%, and 75%, respectively.


 The diagnostic accuracy of the endomysial test is better than that of the TTG-IgA test in general for diagnosing patients with celiac disease. In the TTG-IgA test, false-positive cases are high due to a cut-off of 20, reducing the test's specificity. In these false-positive cases, the endomysial test helps in better diagnosis.


Celiac disease, EMA-AB, TTG-IgA

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