Utility of Anti-actin Iga Antibody in Combination with the New ESPGHAN Guidelines for Coeliac Disease Diagnosis

Enrico Schirru, Fabrice Danjou, Lucia Cicotto, Maria Paola Musu, Fulvia Frau, Stefano De Virgiliis, Rossano Rossino, Maria Doloretta Macis, Rosanna Lampis, Rita-Désirée Jores, Mauro Congia


AIM: An option to reduce the number of duodenal biopsies in the diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD) has recently been reported by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. New criteria showed that the duodenal biopsy may be avoided in presence of symptoms, high anti-transglutaminase type 2 antibody (anti-TG2) levels, anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) and at-risk HLA, whilst biopsy still remains mandatory for individuals with moderate and low anti-TG2 levels. In this study, we considered the addition of serum measurement of anti-actin IgA antibody (AAA-IgA) to the new criteria, with the aim of further reducing the number of duodenal biopsies. METHODS: One hundred and forty consecutive symptomatic CD children and 78 controls were studied. All subjects were classified according to the new criteria with the addition of AAA-IgA levels and results were compared with the outcome of duodenal biopsy. RESULTS: The biopsies from the sixty-four individuals (out of 218) identified by the new criteria, presence of symptoms, anti-TG2 levels >10 times upper limit of normal (ULN), positive EMA and at-risk HLA, showed CD with a Marsh 3 lesion. In the remaining individuals, the addition of AAA-IgA allowed the detection of further 20 CD patients with a Marsh 3 damage when moderate (4 to 10 times ULN) but not low anti-TG2 levels were present. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms that the new criteria may avoid the duodenal biopsy in many CD patients. Moreover, although our finding needs to be confirmed, positivity for AAA-IgA may further reduce the number of duodenal biopsies in moderate anti-TG2 levels.

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