Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dig Liver Dis. 2010 Jan;42(1):28-32. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 May 26.

Diagnostic methods beyond conventional histology in coeliac disease diagnosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital, Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland. teea.salmi@uta.fi



Coeliac disease diagnostic criteria currently require the detection of small bowel mucosal villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia.


To compare conventional histological examination to the determination of small bowel mucosal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and to serum and intestinal coeliac autoantibodies in untreated coeliac disease with villous atrophy and in mild enteropathy coeliac disease.


Study comprised consecutive adult patients with coeliac disease suspicion; villous height-crypt depth ratio (Vh/CrD), the densities of CD3+, gammadelta+ and villous tip IELs and serum and intestinal transglutaminase 2 (TG2)-targeted autoantibodies were studied. Coeliac disease was diagnosed in 223 and excluded in 608 patients. Further, 66 patients were considered to suffer from mild enteropathy coeliac disease. Control group consisted of 138 patients.


Vh/CrD determination detected 77% of untreated coeliac disease patients. Serum coeliac autoantibodies had 84% sensitivity for untreated coeliac disease with villous atrophy and 70% sensitivity for mild enteropathy coeliac disease; the specificity was 100%. Intestinal TG2-targeted autoantibodies had sensitivities of 100% and 93%, and 100% specificity, respectively. gammadelta+ and villous tip IELs proved more reliable than CD3+ IELs.


Conventional histological examination as the golden standard in coeliac disease diagnosis is questionable. Serum and especially intestinal TG2-targeted autoantibodies seem promising in future coeliac disease diagnostics.

Copyright (c) 2009 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk