Omitting duodenal biopsy in children with suspected celiac disease and extra-intestinal symptoms

Mauro Bozzola, Cristina Meazza, Chiara Gertosio, Sara Pagani, Daniela Larizza, Valeria Calcaterra, Ombretta Luinetti, Giovanni Farello, Carmine Tinelli, Lorenzo Iughetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of our study is to evaluate if in children with highly positive serology and HLA-DQ2/DQ8 (triple test, TT) and only extra-intestinal symptoms, it is possible to omit performing an intestinal biopsy for celiac disease (CD) diagnosis, as suggested by the new European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition ESPGHAN guidelines. Methods: In this retrospective study a total of 105 patients, suspected of having CD because of extra-intestinal symptoms and showing serum tissue transglutaminase antibody (anti-tTG) and anti-endomysial antibody (EMA) measurements and HLA genotyping, were considered for the final analysis (33 boys and 72 girls; age range 1.5-17.6 years). Results: Histological findings confirmed diagnosis of CD in 97 (92.4%) patients. Forty-one patients (39%) showed anti-tTG >10 times normal values, positive EMA and positive HLA-DQ2/DQ8 (positive TT). All of them had a diagnosis of CD, therefore there were no false positive cases. Sixty-four patients were negative for the TT. In eight cases, CD was ruled out and these were considered true negative cases. In the remaining 56 negative TT patients, intestinal biopsy confirmed CD diagnosis and they were considered false negatives. Based on these results, specificity for the TT was 100% and sensitivity was 42.3%. Conclusions: On the basis of the present study, diagnosis of CD can be reliably performed without a duodenal biopsy in children with only extra-intestinal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2017


  • Anti-endomysial antibodies
  • Anti-transglutaminase antibodies
  • Celiac disease
  • Children
  • HLA genotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Omitting duodenal biopsy in children with suspected celiac disease and extra-intestinal symptoms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this