Alimentary Tract| Volume 51, ISSUE 11, P1547-1550, November 2019

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Misuse of serological screening tests for celiac disease in children: A prospective study in Italy

Published:August 03, 2019DOI:



      Despite a well-established diagnostic algorithm for celiac disease, it remains unclear whether prescriptions for celiac serological tests comply with the current pediatric guidelines.


      To analyze the appropriateness of test prescription in children investigated for celiac disease in Italy, compared to the current European pediatric guidelines.


      All children who had performed a first evaluation for celiac disease were prospectively enrolled. Prescribed tests and related indications for testing were recorded, and compared to the European pediatric guidelines.


      Overall, 202 children were enrolled (females 59%, mean age 7.1 years ±4.1) in two centers. The reasons for celiac disease testing were typical, atypical symptoms or celiac disease-associated conditions in 46.5%, 49%, and 4.5% of cases, respectively. First-line tests were IgA and IgG anti-transglutaminase antibodies in 88.1% and 29.7% of children, IgA and IgG anti-deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies in 43% and 47%, IgA and IgG anti native gliadin in 15.8%, IgA anti-endomysium antibodies in 44.5%, HLA predisposing genes in 10% of patients. Test redundancy was very common, and the current diagnostic guidelines were correctly followed only in 23/202 patients (11.4%).


      Diagnostic European guidelines for celiac disease screening are often disregarded in Italy. Intervention to implement adherence to these guidelines is needed, with the aim of improving resource utilization, and quality of patient care.


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