Duodenal biopsy may be avoided when high transglutaminase antibody titers are present

Vivas, Santiago; de Morales, Jose G. Ruiz; Riestra, Sabino; Arias, Laura; Fuentes, Dolores; Alvarez, Noemi; Calleja, Sara; Hernando, Mercedes; Herrero, Blanca; Casqueiro, Javier; Rodrigo, Luis; Gassler, Nikolaus
October 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology;10/14/2009, Vol. 15 Issue 38, p4775
Academic Journal
AIM: To evaluate the predictive value of tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies for villous atrophy in adult and pediatric populations to determine if duodenal biopsy can be avoided. METHODS: A total of 324 patients with celiac disease (CD; 97 children and 227 adults) were recruited prospectively at two tertiary centers. Human IgA class anti-tTG antibody measurement and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy were performed at diagnosis. A second biopsy was performed in 40 asymptomatic adults on a gluten-free diet (GFD) and with normal tTG levels. RESULTS: Adults showed less severe histopathology (26% vs 63%, P < 0.0001) and lower tTG antibody titers than children. Levels of tTG antibody correlated with Marsh type in both populations (r = 0.661, P < 0.0001). Multiple logistic regression revealed that only tTG antibody was an independent predictor for Marsh type 3 lesions, but clinical presentation type and age were not. A cut-off point of 30 U tTG antibody yielded the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.854). Based on the predictive value of this cut-off point, up to 95% of children and 53% of adults would be correctly diagnosed without biopsy. Despite GFDs and decreased tTG antibody levels, 25% of the adults did not recover from villous atrophy during the second year after diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Strongly positive tTG antibody titers might be sufficient for CD diagnosis in children. However, duodenal biopsy cannot be avoided in adults because disease presentation and monitoring are different.


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