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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Nov;11(11):655-63. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.162. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Diagnosing coeliac disease and the potential for serological markers.

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Hans Christian Andersen Children's Hospital, Odense University Hospital, 29 Southern Boulevard, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st Street South West, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The diagnosis of coeliac disease has advanced in the past decade owing to increased clinical awareness and improved tests. Coeliac disease is now regarded as a common disease presenting at any age with a broad spectrum of symptoms. Previous guidelines on diagnosis relied on the histological analysis of duodenal biopsy samples. However, contemporary antibody analysis is a diagnostic tool with a comparatively high accuracy that has reduced reliance on performing biopsies. Furthermore, determination of HLA-based genetic susceptibility to coeliac disease has become routine. European and North American guidelines utilize symptoms, coeliac antibodies (primarily tissue transglutaminase 2 IgA and endomysial IgA antibodies), HLA determination and histological analysis of biopsy tissue for diagnosis. Some guidelines conclude that the diagnostic accuracy of tissue transglutaminase 2 IgA antibodies is sufficient to omit duodenal biopsies in selected children with very high antibody levels, in the presence of clear symptom response as well as a positive endomysial antibody test and confirmation of genetic susceptibility. This Review discusses if such a strategy is appropriate for children and adults in all populations. The performance characteristics of antibody tests (particularly of the tissue transglutaminase 2 IgA test) including quality control and characterisation of the population in whom testing is performed are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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