Salivary Screening of Celiac Disease in Children Proves Promising

November 11, 2010

Salivary Screening of Celiac Disease in Children Proves Promising


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Study of more than 4,000 children indicates that saliva samples could be new, simple tool to speed celiac diagnosis.

Researchers in Italy have flagged salivary screening as a new, non-invasive method of screening for celiac disease.

Published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, the study tested saliva samples for anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) immunoglobulin (Ig)A in 4,048 children, ages 6-8 years. Thirty-two children tested positive for salivary tTG IgA and nine had “borderline autoantibody levels,” according to researchers. Of those 41 children, 34 tested serum positive and underwent intestinal biopsy.

The results:

“Twenty-eight children showed villous atrophy when undergoing intestinal biopsy, whereas 1 had Marsh 1 lesions; 3 children were suggested to start GFD without performing endoscopy. CD prevalence in the population investigated (including 19 CD known cases) was 1.16%.”

Researchers concluded “it is possible to perform a powerful, simple, well-accepted, and sensitive CD screening using saliva.”

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