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Dig Liver Dis. 2011 Jun;43(6):465-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2010.12.006. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

The anti-deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies unmask celiac disease in small children with chronic diarrhoea.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.



To assess the usefulness of a new class of antibodies, the anti-deamidated gliadin peptides, in the diagnostic approach to children less than 2 years with suspected celiac disease.


We investigated 40 children (median age: 16.8 months; age range: 4-24 months), with symptoms and signs of chronic enteropathy and high serum levels of conventional anti-gliadin antibodies, but normal values of anti-transglutaminase and anti-endomysial antibodies; all underwent measurement of anti-deamidated gliadin peptides serum levels, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsies and HLA typing; 40 subjects served as controls.


In 29 patients (group A) serum levels of anti-deamidated gliadin peptides were normal and duodenal histology showed a spectrum of abnormalities ranging from mucosal inflammatory infiltrates to villous damage (in almost all cases compatible with Marsh 1-to-2 lesions). All improved on a cow's and soy milk free diet containing gluten. In 11 patients (group B) there were high serum levels of anti-deamidated gliadin peptides and histology showed features suggestive of celiac disease (Marsh 2-to-3 lesions) in all; furthermore, human leucocyte antigen typing was consistent with a celiac disease genetic pattern in all. Group B patients significantly improved on a gluten free diet containing cow's and soy milk proteins. None of the control group was anti-deamidated gliadin peptides positive.


In children younger than 2 years with signs of chronic enteropathy and normal values of classical serum markers of celiac disease, the latter can be predicted by high serum levels of anti-deamidated gliadin peptides.

Copyright © 2011 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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