Accuracy of Serological Screening for the Diagnosis of Celiac Disease in Type 1 Diabetes Children

Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Jul 18;59(7):1321. doi: 10.3390/medicina59071321.


Background and Objectives: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are considered at high-risk for developing celiac disease (CD). The purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of CD among children who were followed in our unit for T1D using the latest ESPGHAN guidelines, and avoiding intestinal biopsies in some of the children. Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective monocentric study, which included 663 T1D children between June 2014 and June 2016. We considered CD according to serological (tissue transglutaminase (TGAs) and endomysium antibodies) results. Children were included either at the time of T1D diagnosis or during their follow up. We looked for clinical and biochemical signs of CD, and for T1D characteristics. Results: The children's ages ranged from 11 months to 18 years. CD was confirmed in 32 out of 663 patients with T1D, with a prevalence of 4.8%. CD was excluded in 619 children and remained uncertain for 12 children, who had positive TGAs without the required criteria. We found that 95% of T1D children express HLA-DQ2 and/or -DQ8, which was 2.4 times higher than in the general population. Conclusions: An intestinal biopsy could be avoided to confirm CD in the majority of T1D children. Silent forms of CD are frequent and screening is recommended for all patients. Importantly, repeated TGA assessment is required in HLA genetically predisposed T1D patients, while it is unnecessary in the 5% who are HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 negative.

Keywords: HLA antigens; antibodies; celiac disease; children; diabetes mellitus; type 1.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies
  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transglutaminases


  • Transglutaminases
  • Autoantibodies

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.