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Oral Implantol (Rome). 2013 Oct 15;6(2):48-54. eCollection 2013.

The anti-transglutaminase auto-antibodies in children's saliva with a suspect coeliac disease: clinical study.

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Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy.


The coeliac disease is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by an ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Like some other systemic diseases (Crohn's disease, Sjögren's syndrome) the celiac disease is able to alter the oral ecosystem and the composition of the saliva.


The aim of this retrospective study has been to examine the incidence of coeliac disease (CD) in paediatric population and to search the presence of anti-transglutaminase auto-antibodies (anti-tTG) in saliva, comparing and quantifying the concentration regard to the serum values of the anti-tTG auto-antibodies, before and after six months from the beginning of the free gluten diet.


105 children (G0), aged between 5 and 13 years, belonging to the Paediatric Gastroenterology-Endoscopy Unit of PTV Hospital, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", have been examined for a diagnosis of suspected CD.


Of a total of 105 pediatric patients (G0), only the 16.2% (G1) has showed to be positive. About the evaluation of the anti-tTG auto-antibodies in the serum, obtained from the second blood sample (T1), we can observe that 10 (G2) out of 17 children (G1) show positivity and for this reason they have been subjected to a sampling of intestinal villi to confirm the diagnosis of CD; in addition the 6.7% has been resulted positive at the first sampling of serum (T0), but negative to the second one (T1). The incidence of the CD has been resulted to be equal to 9.5%. About the evaluation of anti-tTG in the G1, we can observe that 58.8% of children are "definitely positive" to the salivary anti-tTG, while 11.8% appear to be weakly positive. About the correspondence of serum and salivary anti-tTG in Group G1, we can observe, that children positive to the anti-tTG in the serum have also the anti-tTG in the salivary fluid (sensibility 100%, specificity 71.4%). The results show that the anti-tTG salivary are present in children with CD, even though they have continued to follow the gluten free diet for 6 months.


The presence of anti-tTG in the saliva may be considered, an additional and useful diagnostic dental marker for an initial, reproducible, non invasive, inexpensive and highly sensitive screening of CD having a predictive and precocious value compared to anti-tTG contained in the serum, as it has been already demonstrated.


coeliac disease; paediatric patient; saliva

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