Very high rate of misdiagnosis of celiac disease in clinical practice

Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam. 2009 Dec;39(4):250-3.


Objective: We evaluated the accuracy of the diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) performed in the community clinical setting compared with that of an academic experienced center.

Materials: Original biopsy slides and reports used for diagnosis in the community setting and the CD serology were revised in 70 consecutive patients attending our institution for a second opinion. An expert team determined the final diagnosis unaware of the original consideration.

Results: The poor quality of samples made histology assessment by the expert pathologist uncertain in 8.7% of slides with CD external diagnosis. We detected a divergent diagnosis between the two practice settings in 46.3% of available cases with a significant overdiagnosis of CD in the community (p < 0.0001). Congruent serology results were demonstrated in 72.2% of cases.

Conclusion: Our study detected a high rate of histopathological and serological misdiagnosis of CD in community practice which may have profound negative impact on patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Celiac Disease / pathology
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Pathology, Clinical
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Retrospective Studies