Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saliva Tests Might Be As Effective as Blood Tests for Diagnosing CD

"A group of Italian researchers from the University of Rome
performed the first mass screening of schoolchildren for celiac
disease with a salivary tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody
test and compared those results with conventional tTG testing
using blood samples. Of the more than 4,000 children screened,
32 were found to have positive salivary tTG response. Of these
32, all but one tested positive with the standard blood tTG
antibody test. Intestinal biopsies were recommended for all 31
antibody positive patients, but parents gave consent to only
26 of the children. All 26 were found to have a positive biopsy
result, for a prevalence rate of 1.16% in the study population."

"Since collection of a saliva sample is non-invasive and relatively
easy to do, a highly sensitive and inexpensive test using saliva
would be an important step toward getting more people tested. The
need for better screening to identify those who have celiac disease
is generally accepted. But it has been difficult to find a cost-
effective method of reliable screening for large numbers of people.
In this study, the researchers have shown that the salivary test
correlates well with the standard blood test, and may be particularly
useful for mass screenings of schoolchildren."

-Gluten-Free Living, Number 1/2011