Background: Sensitivity and specificity of anti-human tissue transglutaminase antibodies (anti-htTGA) seem to be superior to those of anti-tissue transglutaminase of guinea pig (anti-gptTGA) for screening patients with celiac disease (CD), but there are still controversies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of two INOVA ELISA kits to detect IgA anti-htTGA and anti-gptTGA in patients with and without CD.
Methods: The study groups were comprised of 49 anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)-positive untreated-CD, and 123 controls (EMA-negative treated CD, EMA-negative chronic diarrhea, autoimmune hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and healthy people).
Results: The agreement between the two ELISAs was statistically significant in all study groups and there was no significant difference between them (92.7 % agreement; kappa=0.70; kappa p=0.001; McNemar p=1). All patients with serum reactivity of more than 100 units had histologic diagnosis of CD. In seven of 10 patients with treated-CD who had control biopsies, villous atrophy was still present in four who tested positive by both kits. Two of three celiacs with histologic remission tested positive for both anti-tTGA.
Conclusions: the anti-gptTGA and anti-htTGA determination were equally efficient in identifying patients with untreated-CD with high titers of EMA. Whatever the anti-tTGA ELISA used, the reactivity above 100 units was always related to active CD diagnosed by histologic alterations in intestinal biopsies. The anti-tTGA reactivity by both kits was not only similar in determining histologic activity in the follow-up of CD after a gluten free diet, but also in identifying positive sera from the control groups, regardless if CD has been confirmed by duodenal biopsies.
DOI: Clin. Lab. 2010;56:29-35