Research Article

Predictive value for coeliac disease of antibodies to gliadin, endomysium, and jejunum in patients attending for jejunal biopsy.

BMJ 1991; 303 doi: (Published 09 November 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;303:1163
  1. S A McMillan,
  2. D J Haughton,
  3. J D Biggart,
  4. J D Edgar,
  5. K G Porter,
  6. T A McNeill
  1. Regional Immunology Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital.


    OBJECTIVE--To investigate the extent to which the detection of antibodies to gliadin, endomysium, and jejunum predicts the eventual diagnosis of coeliac disease according to the revised ESPGAN diagnostic criteria in a group of patients in whom there is a high suspicion of coeliac disease. DESIGN--Clinical assessment and laboratory analysis of patients with suspected coeliac disease. SETTING--Gastroenterology department of teaching hospital. PATIENTS--96 adults with suspected coeliac disease attending for jejunal biopsy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Diagnosis of coeliac disease with the revised criteria of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in patients with and without antibodies associated with coeliac disease. RESULTS--28 patients had a clinical diagnosis of coeliac disease, seven of other gastrointestinal diseases, and 12 of miscellaneous diseases; 49 had no diagnosis. Gliadin IgA detected by ELISA was found in all patients with coeliac disease and none of those without, giving a sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and predictive efficiency of 100% for diagnosing coeliac disease within the group. Endomysial IgA was found in 25 (89%) patients with coeliac disease and jejunal IgA in 21 (75%); neither IgA was found in patients without coeliac disease. CONCLUSION--Detection of gliadin IgA by ELISA and to a lesser extent the endomysial IgA should allow better selection of patients for jejunal biopsy and thus make diagnosing coeliac disease simpler and more efficient.