medical history, physical examination, and lab tests
often point to celiac disease. The diagnosis is confirmed with a small
biopsy collected during an
endoscopy. For this procedure, an endoscope is guided
down a person's throat to the small intestine.
It is possible that the main title of the report Celiac Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Tests for celiac disease should be done when you or your child is still eating a diet that includes gluten. If you have already started a gluten-free diet before these tests are done, the doctor may suggest you or your child eat a certain amount of gluten before the tests.
Celiac disease triggers the
immune system to produce certain
antibodies. If celiac disease is suspected, your
doctor will order certain blood tests to detect and measure specific
IgAtTG: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) anti-tissue
transglutaminase (tTG) antibody
IgAEMA: Immunoglobulin A (IgA) antiendomysial antibody (EMA)
If your test results are positive, your
doctor may perform a
biopsy of the small intestine to confirm a diagnosis
of celiac disease.
A biopsy taken during an
upper gastrointestinal endoscopy may be done to
confirm celiac disease after antibody tests are positive. Sometimes a biopsy
detects celiac disease when a person is being tested for another
If the biopsy shows signs of celiac disease
(such as abnormal villi and inflammation in the
small intestine), a
gluten-free diet will be recommended. If the symptoms
go away on the gluten-free diet and antibody tests are normal, a diagnosis of
celiac disease is confirmed.
Other tests may be done
when celiac disease is suspected. These tests may include:
Blood tests to measure
antibodies, such as immunoglobulin A anti-tissue
transglutaminase (IgAtTG) or the immunoglobulin A antiendomysial antibody
(IgAEMA), can be useful screening tools for people who are at increased risk
for having celiac disease. This includes people with a family history of celiac
disease or those who have
type 1 diabetes,
dermatitis herpetiformis, an
autoimmune disease, unexplained
anemia, abnormal liver function tests not caused by
another disease, or unexplained
osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor if you think you or
your child should be screened for celiac disease.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 13, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this