Diagnosis and management of coeliac disease in children

Br J Nurs. 2021 Jul 8;30(13):S6-S10. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2021.30.13.S6.


Coeliac disease (CD) is an autoimmune gluten-dependent condition with a prevalence of 1% in the population, if screened. However, approximately only a third of children with CD are diagnosed. When CD is suspected, serological screening with anti-tissue transglutaminase titres should be performed. Children with a positive result should be referred to a specialist in CD for confirmation of the diagnosis. The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition revised their diagnostic guidance for CD in 2020 and this article discusses the current diagnostic pathways. Lifelong strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is necessary to prevent complications. Nurses and specialist paediatric dietitians have an important role in recognising and diagnosing CD early, as well as offering ongoing dietary and clinical support.

Keywords: Children; Coeliac disease; Diagnosis; Gluten-free.

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease* / nursing
  • Child
  • Diet, Gluten-Free* / nursing
  • Humans
  • Nursing Diagnosis*