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 23 February 2018

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News

Screening for celiac disease with antihuman transglutaminase antibody assay

Mass screening for celiac disease should be considered, suggest physicians in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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In this study, physicians from Italy determined the prevalence of celiac disease in a large pediatric population. They also evaluated the acceptance of the screening program, dietary compliance, and long term health effects.

The team performed a cross-sectional survey of 3188 schoolchildren aged between 6 and 12 years.

They measured the prevalence of celiac disease using biopsy or positivity to both human tissue transglutaminase and anti-endomysium antibodies in HLA DQ2-8 positive subjects.

They also measured the percentage of children whose families accepted screening, dietary compliance, and the presence of clinical or laboratory abnormalities at 24 month follow up.

The physicians identified 30 biopsy proven cases of celiac disease.
Dietary compliance was good.
Archives of Disease in Childhood

An additional 3 children tested positive for both celiac related autoantibodies and HLA DQ2-8.

Of the 33 cases, 12 had celiac-related symptoms.

Throughout the course of the study the 30 biopsy proven celiacs followed a gluten-free diet.

Overall, 28 subjects completed 18 to 24 months follow up. At the end of follow up 71% were negative for anti-transglutaminase antibodies.

The team found that symptoms resolved in all 12 symptomatic children.

Dr Tommasini and colleagues concluded, "Prevalence of celiac disease is high in Italian schoolchildren".

"Two thirds of cases were asymptomatic".

"Acceptance of the program was good, as was dietary compliance".

"Given the high prevalence and possible complications of untreated celiac disease, the availability of a valid screening method, and evidence of willingness to comply with dietary treatment population mass screening deserves careful consideration".

Arch Dis Child 2004; 89: 512-5
02 June 2004

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