Antibody Concentrations Decrease 14-Fold in Children With Celiac Disease on a Gluten-Free Diet but Remain High at 3 Months.
Petroff D., Wolf J., Richter T., Auth MKH., Uhlig HH., Laass MW., Lauenstein P., Krahl A., Händel N., de Laffolie J., Hauer AC., Heiduk M., Flemming G., Schmidt A., Hasenclever D., Mothes T.
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Celiac disease can be identified by a serologic test for IgA against tissue transglutaminase (IgA-TTG) in a large proportion of children. However, the increased concentrations of antibody rarely normalize within the months after children are placed on a gluten-free diet (GFD). Early serologic predictors of sufficient adherence to GFD are required for optimal treatment. METHODS: In a prospective study, we observed the response to a GFD in 345 pediatric patients (67% girls; mean age, 8.4 y) who underwent duodenal biopsy to confirm or refute celiac disease from October 2012 through December 2015. Baseline serum samples were tested centrally for IgA-TTG and IgG against deamidated gliadin. Follow-up serologic analyses of children on a GFD were performed about 3 months later. RESULTS: The geometric mean concentration of IgA-TTG decreased from 72.4-fold to 5.2-fold the upper limit of normal (ULN), or by a factor of 14.0 (95% CI, 12.0-16.4). A substantial response (defined as a larger change than the typical variation in patients not on a GFD) was observed in 80.6% of the children. Only 28.1% of patients had a substantial response in the concentration of IgG against deamidated gliadin. Concentration of IgA-TTG remained above 1-fold the ULN in 83.8% of patients, and above 10-fold the ULN in 26.6% of patients with a substantial response. CONCLUSIONS: Serum concentration of IgA-TTG decreases substantially in most children with celiac disease within 3 months after they are placed on a GFD, but does not normalize in most. This information on changes in antibody concentrations can be used to assess patient response to the diet at short-term follow-up evaluations. Patients with a substantial response to a GFD often still have high antibody levels after 3 months. German Clinical Trials Registry no. DRKS00003854.