Persistently Abnormal Celiac Labs =High Likelihood of Celiac Disease

CM Trovato et al JPGN 2021; 72: 712-717. Diagnostic Value of Persistently Low Positive TGA-IgA Titers in Symptomatic Children With Suspected Celiac Disease

This retrospective study provides insight into the predictive value of persistently abnormal celiac labs in symptomatic children.

Inclusion criteria:  not eligible for a non-biopsy diagnosis AND children with at least 2 TGA-IgA measurements, endomysial antibody (EMA) assessment and esophagogastroduodenoscopy with biopsies

Methods: Patients were classified in groups according to median TGA-IgA values: Group A (TGA-IgA>1 ≤ 5 × ULN; defined as “low-positive”), Group B (TGA-IgA > 5 < 10 × ULN; “moderate-positive”), and C (controls).

Key findings:

  • In group A, CD was diagnosed in 142/162 (87.7%)
  •  In group B, all 62 children (100%) received a CD diagnosis

My take: In individuals with mild elevation of celiac serology, it is reasonable to recheck prior to confirming with endoscopy. However, those with persistently abnormal values are very likely to have celiac disease.

Related blog posts:

  • If TTG IgA at 1-fold ULN, then PPV 61%, NPV 98%, Sens 90%, Spec 90%
  • If TTG IgA at 2-fold ULN, then PPV 79%, NPV 97%, Sens 82%, Spec 96%
  • If TTG IgA at 5-fold ULN, then PPV 93%, NPV 94%, Sens 62%, Spec 99%
  • If TTG IgA at 7-fold ULN, then PPV 96%, NPV 91%, Sens 41%, Spec 100%
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