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Antibodies Against Deamidated Gliadin Peptides and Tissue Transglutaminase for Diagnosis of Pediatric Celiac Disease

Olen, Ola*; Gudjónsdóttir, Audur H.; Browaldh, Lars; Hessami, Mozaffar§; Elvin, Kerstin||; Liedberg, Ann-Sofie; Neovius, Martin*; Grahnquist, Lena§

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: December 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 695–700
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182645c54
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate diagnostic performance and actual costs in clinical practice of immumoglobulin (Ig)G/IgA deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies (DGP) as a complement to IgA antibodies against tissue transglutaminase (tTG) for the diagnosis of pediatric celiac disease (CD).

Methods: All of the consecutive patients younger than 18 years tested for tTG and/or DGP, who underwent duodenal biopsy because of suspected CD in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, from 2008 to 2010, were included. Medical records were reviewed.

Results: Of 537 children who underwent duodenal biopsy, 278 (52%) had CD. A total of 71 (13%) were younger than 2 years and 16 (4%) had IgA deficiency. Sensitivity and specificity for tTG were 94% and 86%, respectively. Corresponding values for DGP were 91% and 26%. Positive predictive values (PPV) were 88% for tTG and 51% for DGP. There were 148 children who were tTG-negative and DGP-positive, of which only 5% (8/148) had villous atrophy. Among children younger than 2 years with normal IgA, PPV was 96% (25/26) for tTG and 48% (24/50) for DGP. In 16 IgA-deficient children, 11 were DGP positive, of which 5 had CD (PPV 45%). Eight of 278 cases of CD would possibly have been missed without DGP. The cost of adding DGP and consequently more biopsies to be able to detect 8 extra cases of CD was €399,520 or €49,940 per case.

Conclusions: For diagnosing CD, tTG is superior to DGP, even in children younger than 2 years. Combining tTG and DGP does not provide a better tradeoff between number of missed cases of CD, number of unnecessary duodenal biopsies, and cost than tTG alone.

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*Department of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Department of Pediatrics, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg

Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet

§Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska Institutet

||Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ola Olén, Sachs’ Children's Hospital, Stockholm South General Hospital, 118 83 Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail:

Received 7 April, 2012

Accepted 12 June, 2012

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (

This project received funding from Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse and the County of Stockholm.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2012 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN