Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Useful Resources - Celiac Disease Blood Tests

From what I can tell, there is a lot of confusion out there about which blood tests should be taken in order to properly screen/diagnose Celiac Disease.

After I was diagnosed, I suggested to my immediate family members (Mother/Father/Brothers/Sisters) that they get a blood test as well. I called my doctors office and they stated that my family members should ask their doctor for a "Complete Celiac Disease Panel" blood test. I assumed there was 1 simple test that all doctors/labs knew about. Should be easy, right? Think again. For proof, go to Labcorp's Directory of Services website (click here) and look at the all the different tests for Celiac (there are 12).

Long story short, my parents were given the incorrect tests while my sister was given the correct tests. When my parents results came back, I showed them to my doctor because both were negative. He said that the tests they were given were "basically worthless". In response to this situation, I decided I would post the exact tests I received in order to be diagnosed. These are the tests that my doctor (Dr. Colm J O’Loughlin) stated as being the correct tests.

They are as follows...
  1. Endomysial IgA Antibodies - the result is either Negative or Positive
  2. Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA Antibodies - the result is a number with anything > 10 being positive.
My results of course were positive for Test 1 and 123 (> 10 is positive) for test 2.

Hope this helps!

UPDATED 9-3-2008 @ 5PM
To be 100% accurate, my diagnosis was also confirmed by a small bowel biopsy as well. I also updated test 2 above to add the IgA part which I originally left off. Thanks Shauna.

UPDATED 9-19-2008 @ 4PM

The following Web Site from the American Celiac Disease Alliance provides an in depth overview of the types of blood tests out there for Celiac. It's a good read.


Shauna McCabe said...

That was not a complete celiac panel. A complete panel will test for Gliadin (endomysial) IgA, IgG and tissue transglutaminase IgA.

I assume your tTG test was for IgA antibodies and not IgG antibodies? If it was for IgA then you are 99% a celiac -- a recent study has shown that when your tTG IgA numbers are THAT high then the test is pretty conclusive. If the test was between 20 and 50 then the results can and should still be questioned.

Do you have the exact copy of your tests? i am only guessing what they say exactly. Most of the time they come back in chart form listing each tested antibody and their result.

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