Determination of gluten immunogenic peptides for the management of the treatment adherence of celiac disease: A systematic review

World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Oct 7;27(37):6306-6321. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i37.6306.


Background: Gluten is a complex mixture of proteins with immunogenic peptide sequences triggering the autoimmune activity in patients with celiac disease (CeD). Gluten immunogenic peptides (GIP) are resistant to gastrointestinal digestion and are then excreted via the stool and urine. Most common detection methods applied in the follow-up visits for CeD patients such as serology tests, dietetic interviews, questionnaires, and duodenal biopsy have been proved to be inefficient, invasive, or inaccurate for evaluating gluten-free diet (GFD) compliance. Determination of excreted GIP in stool and urine has been developed as a non-invasive, direct, and specific test for GFD monitoring.

Aim: To summarize published literature about the clinical utility of GIP determination in comparison to the tools employed for GFD monitoring.

Methods: PubMed and Web of Science searches were performed using the keywords "gluten immunogenic peptides" or "gluten immunogenic peptide" and a combination of the previous terms with "feces", "stools", "urine", "celiac disease", "gluten-free diet", and "adherence" to identify relevant clinical studies published in English and Spanish between 2012 to January 2021. Reference lists from the articles were reviewed to identify additional pertinent articles. Published articles and abstracts reporting the clinical use of GIP determination in stool and/or urine for the follow-up of patients with CeD in comparison with other tools in use were included. Case reports, commentaries, reviews, conference papers, letters, and publications that did not focus on the aims of this review were excluded.

Results: Total of 15 publications were found that involved the use of GIP determination in stool and/or urine to monitor the adherence to the GFD in comparison to other tools. Studies included both children and adults diagnosed with CeD and healthy volunteers. Overall, these preliminary studies indicated that this novel technique was highly sensitive for the detection of GFD transgressions and therefore could facilitate the follow-up of patients with CeD. Tools identified in this work included the CeD-specific serology, dietetic questionnaires, symptomatology, and the duodenal biopsy. Review of the literature revealed that the rates of GFD adherence may vary between 30%-93% using either stool or urine GIP determination, 49%-96% by the serology, 59%-94% using the dietetic questionnaires, 56%-95% by the reported symptoms and 44%-76% with the duodenal biopsy. In addition, the association between the different methods and histological abnormalities (Marsh II-III) was found to be 33%-100% for GIP determination (stool and urine), 25%-39% for CeD-specific serology, 3%-50% for dietetic questionnaires, and 22%-28% for the symptomatology.

Conclusion: Excreted GIP detection is the precise approach for determining voluntary or involuntary gluten consumption in CeD patients preventing future complications arising from gluten exposure.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Gluten immunogenic peptides; Gluten-free diet; Immunoassays; Stool; Urine.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Glutens* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Peptides


  • Peptides
  • Glutens