Background/aims: The use of immunoglobulin G and A anti-gliadin antibodies for celiac disease screening has decreased due to higher specificity and sensitivity of tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies. Greater values of immunoglobulin-A anti-gliadin antibody have been associated with more severe mucosal damage in proven and probable celiac disease patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether anti-gliadin antibody immunoglobulin A has any clinical importance in diagnosing celiac disease in children. Children with a chronic history of vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation in the outpatient clinic were evaluated for celiac disease. Materials and Methods: Tissue transglutaminase and anti-gliadin antibody immunoglobulin A in serum were determined by ELISA test and endomysial antibodies immunoglobulin A by indirect immunofluorescence. Most of these children with isolated positive anti-gliadin antibody immunoglobulin A were further evaluated by performing proximal gastrointestinal biopsies. Results: Sixteen children had isolated positive anti-gliadin antibody immunoglobulin A (negative tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies immunoglobulin A). Eight were male (mean age: 9.7 years). None had immunoglobulin A deficiency. Thirteen underwent an upper endoscopy with multiple small bowel biopsies. Two patients had villous atrophy and slightly increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (Marsh 3a), which could make the diagnosis of celiac disease likely. These two patients had high titers of anti-gliadin antibody immunoglobulin A above 70 Units. Conclusions: An isolated positive antigliadin antibody immunoglobulin A result in the absence of positive tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies immunoglobulin A should raise the suspicion of the diagnosis of celiac disease. This could be a non-specific phenomenon that could be found in other gastrointestinal conditions, latent celiac disease, or gluten hypersensitivity. A longitudinal clinical follow-up is recommended in these children to confirm the diagnosis.
- Celiac disease
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Gluten hypersensitivity
- Isolated positive anti-gliadin immunoglobin A antibody
- Marsh classification
- Negative tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies
ASJC Scopus subject areas