Gluten immunogenic peptide excretion detects dietary transgressions in treated celiac disease patients

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Mar 21;25(11):1409-1420. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i11.1409.


Background: Life-long removal of gluten from the diet is currently the only way to manage celiac disease (CeD). Until now, no objective test has proven useful to objectively detect ingested gluten in clinical practice. Recently, tests that determine consumption of gluten by assessing excretion of gluten immunogenic peptides (GIP) in stool and urine have been developed. Their utility, in comparison with conventional dietary and analytical follow-up strategies, has not been fully established.

Aim: To assess the performance of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and point-of-care tests (PoCTs) for GIP excretion in CeD patients on gluten-free diet (GFD).

Methods: We conducted an observational, prospective, cross-sectional study in patients following a GFD for at least two years. Using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questionnaire, patients were classified at enrollment as asymptomatic or symptomatic. Gluten consumption was assessed twice by 3-d dietary recall and GIP excretion (by ELISA in stool and PoCTs (commercial kits for stool and urine) in two consecutive samples. These samples and dietary reports were obtained 10 day apart one from the other. Patients were encouraged to follow their usual GFD during the study period.

Results: Forty-four patients were enrolled, of which 19 (43.2%) were symptomatic despite being on a GFD. Overall, 83 sets of stool and/or urine samples were collected. Eleven out of 44 patients (25.0%) had at least one positive GIP test. The occurrence of at least one positive test was 32% in asymptomatic patients compared with 15.8% in symptomatic patients. GIP was concordant with dietary reports in 65.9% of cases (Cohen´s kappa: 0.317). PoCT detected dietary indiscretions. Both ELISA and PoCT in stool were concordant (concomitantly positive or negative) in 67 out of 74 (90.5%) samples. Excretion of GIP was detected in 7 (8.4%) stool and/or urine samples from patients considered to be strictly compliant with the GFD by dietary reports.

Conclusion: GIP detects dietary transgressions in patients on long-term GFD, irrespective of the presence of symptoms. PoCT for GIP detection constitutes a simple home-based method for self-assessment of dietary indiscretions.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Follow-up; Gluten immunogenic peptide excretion; Gluten-free diet; Rapid tests.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / urine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glutens / analysis*
  • Glutens / chemistry
  • Glutens / immunology
  • Glutens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Elimination
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Point-of-Care Testing
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Peptides
  • Glutens