Objectives: Anti–tissue transglutaminase antibody (anti-tTG) determination using second-generation (human antigen) enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISAs) is a very accurate test to diagnose celiac disease (CD). In this study, we compared 2 second-generation ELISAs (Celikey tTG; Pharmacia Diagnostics GmbH & Co, Freiburg, Germany, and QuantaLite; Inova Diagnostics, San Diego, CA) and antiendomysial antibodies (EMAs) with a new indirect chemiluminescence immunoassay (LIAISON tTG; DiaSorin S.p.A., Saluggia, Italy) in diagnosing and monitoring CD in children.
Patients and Methods: Antiendomysial antibodies, anti-tTGs and total immunoglobulin A were measured in the sera of 103 control children, 101 children with histologically proven CD and 31 CD children on gluten-free diet (GFD).
Results: Anti–tissue transglutaminase antibody mean levels were significantly higher in CD with respect to control or GFD children. The sensitivity value of EMAs, LIAISON tTG, Celikey tTG and QuantaLite in diagnosing CD was 97.7%, 97.0%, 94.1% and 98.0%, respectively, and the corresponding specificity values were 91.1%, 98.1%, 97.1% and 96.1%, respectively. The degree of mucosal destruction (Marsh criteria) was correlated with EMA semiquantification (P < 0.01) and with the circulating levels of anti-tTGs measured using LIAISON (P < 0.05) or QuantaLite (P < 0.01). Twenty-six CD children were followed up from 5 to 25 months after GFD. The circulating levels of anti-tTGs measured with any of the 3 assays significantly dropped after GFD.
Conclusions: Anti–tissue transglutaminase antibody determination with second-generation ELISAs is as effective as EMAs for CD diagnosis. The novel chemiluminescent method described in the present paper for the detection of anti-tTGs in the diagnosis of CD had the highest sensitivity and specificity values. The anti-tTG test correlates with the degree of mucosal destruction and is suitable for verifying patient compliance to dietary treatment.