Researchers have determined that a trial blood test can accurately identify individuals with or without celiac disease regardless of any gluten-free regimes.
Two tests are used to detect signs of celiac disease detecting any immune to the presence of gluten, however, this response will disappear in those who follow gluten-free diets.
According to Dr. Vikas K. Sarna, the current leader of the study at Norway’s Oslo University Hospital, “Unfortunately, many persons with gluten sensitivity go gluten-free without consulting their clinician for the exclusion of celiac disease”. He noted that “In such cases, guidelines recommend … performing a gluten challenge involving daily consumption of gluten for up to 8 weeks, followed by an endoscopic procedure for a biopsy taken from the small intestine (duodenum). Our blood test may replace such a gluten challenge and duodenal biopsy.”
This new test, however, is designed to pinpoint immune cells in blood samples specifically targeting gluten proteins, despite having a diet that avoids foods containing gluten.
Sarna and the research team performed 62 trial examinations on patients who have the disease as well as 19 trials on individuals who do not have the condition. They also examined the results of samples taken from 10 participants who have celiac disease that ingested foods containing gluten as well as 52 healthy participants on regular diets. For comparison, they referred to existing celiac tests taken on their sample set.
Test previously conducted detected results positive for the celiac disease in 9 participants out of the 10 individuals tested who had regular diets however only detected 4 from 62 samples of gluten-free dieters.
Their new experimental tests had results of 96% accuracy detecting the difference between those who do and do not have the disease despite following gluten-free regimes.
When detecting patients who have celiac disease and were exposed to gluten compared to those who are healthy following regular diets, the results came through with 95% accuracy.
“We calculated that our test is stronger to exclude rather than confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease in gluten sensitive persons,” he stated. “Although we need more research in this field, we propose that the test is used to exclude celiac disease in persons on a gluten-free diet,” Sarna wrote in his email to Reuters Health.