Celiac disease diagnosis in misdiagnosed children

Pediatr Res. 2000 Nov;48(5):590-2. doi: 10.1203/00006450-200011000-00006.


Antiendomysial antibodies (EMA) are today considered the most sensitive and specific serological marker of celiac disease (CD). The aim of the present study was to assess the occurrence of EMA of IgG isotype in EMA IgA negative children with clinical suspicion of malabsorption and their relationship with CD. Serum EMA IgG1 determination was performed on 30 EMA IgA negative children with clinical suspicion of CD. Total serum IgA levels were further investigated. Sixty children with gastroenterological diseases other than CD were used as control disease patients and 63 healthy children were evaluated as the control group. Eighteen out of 30 children in the study showed EMA IgG1 positivity in sera and a villous height/crypt depth ratio <3:1 as index of intestinal atrophy. It is noticeable that a selective IgA deficiency was present in only 9 of 18 EMA IgG1 positive children. In addition, clinical symptoms, EMA IgG1, and mucosal atrophy disappeared after 8-10 mo on a gluten-free diet. Neither EMA IgA nor EMA IgG1 were detected in the children in the control groups. The other 12 children in study group showed no histologic abnormalities and were EMA IgG1 negative. In this study, we reveal a group of EMA IgG1 CD children without IgA deficiency. The diagnosis was based on the presence of gluten-dependent typical serological and histologic features of CD. Our data suggest that EMA IgG1 determination could be a new tool in the diagnostic workup of CD, useful in avoiding possible misdiagnosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Atrophy
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Celiac Disease / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G